Global climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing this generation. It has had a significant impact on the environment, from rising sea levels to more extreme weather events, costing businesses, governments, and taxpayers billions of dollars. We can all attest to the impact that climate change has on birds and other wildlife. Pennsylvanians are feeling the effects of climate change more and more – especially in the form of extreme rainfall and flooding. It is long overdue that we implement stronger renewable energy goals to create good jobs, cut pollution and ensure a sustainable and prosperous Pennsylvania for future generations. The United Nations has noted: “Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and costing people, communities, and countries dearly. … But affordable, scalable solutions are now available… The pace of change is quickening.” It is time we tap into the enormous benefits from increasing our renewable energy goals, including economic and job growth, public health protections from reduced air and water pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Last week, there was some encouraging news from Harrisburg. Senator Haywood and Senator Santarsiero, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus, along with Senator Thomas Killion, introduced Senate Bill 600; Representative Carolyn Comitta, vice-chair of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus, and Representative Steve McCarter introduced a companion bill in the House, House Bill 1195. These bills seek to strengthen our energy standards by pushing for Pennsylvania to get 30 percent of its electrical generation from renewable energy sources by 2030. Specifically, the legislation:
1. Expands the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (AEPS) Tier I requirement from 8% to 30% by 2030, including 7.5% for in-state grid-scale solar and 2.5% for in-state distributed generation solar;
2. Directs the PUC to study the benefits of a renewable energy storage program;
3. Provides for several protections that control costs for electricity customers, including long-term contracting, fixed ACP payments, and a 15-year lifetime limit for generating eligible SRECs for solar projects.
We urge every Wyncote Audubon ADVOCATE to reach out to their Pennsylvania Senators and Representatives to urge them to support this legislation. You can use this link to “find your legislator” and to reach out to them to urge their support for SB 600 or HB1195! https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/