Clean Power PA Coalition: Pennsylvania Offers Citizens an Outstanding Opportunity to Share Vision for Climate Action and Clean Energy
HARRISBURG, PA (September 14, 2015) – A broad Pennsylvania clean energy coalition today urged Pennsylvanians to speak out for clean energy and health protections in upcoming statewide public “listening sessions,” which will help shape a state plan to cut dangerous power plant carbon pollution that is driving climate change.
Leaders of the Clean Power PA coalition, which includes faith, environmental, religious, business and civil rights organizations, discussed the huge stake the state has in drafting a strong state plan in a telephone press conference, held the day before the first public hearing Tuesday evening in Harrisburg.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is holding 14 listening sessions across the state– likely the earliest and most extensive state-level public feedback process in the nation. The listening sessions will help Governor Tom Wolf develop Pennsylvania’s plan to meet the carbon pollution limits under the Clean Power Plan, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized on August 3rd.
“An overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians—82 percent—want cleaner air and see the Clean Power Plan as a way to make that happen,” said Mark Szybist, senior program advocate for Energy and Transportation at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a Williamsport native. “These listening sessions that the state has set up are a perfect opportunity for Pennsylvanians to share their views on the best way to reduce carbon pollution and meet its goals under the plan.”
“These listening sessions provide an opportunity for Pennsylvanians from all walks of life, from all sectors, to have a say in how we go about implementing the Clean Power Plan,” said Matt Elliott, senior policy associate at the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance. “Ramping up energy efficiency measures is one key way to do that. It’s good for business, for the state and to help residents save while also meeting the reasonable goals of the Clean Power Plan.”
“The Clean Power Plan is an economic opportunity for Pennsylvania that allows us to ensure a healthier, cleaner future for the next generation,” said Joe Minott, executive director of the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council. “The state has already made enormous strides in reducing carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan provides the kick in the pants needed to take us that much further.”
“The shift toward a clean energy economy is already well underway in Pennsylvania,” said Jeremy Richardson, senior energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. As a scientist who comes from a multi-generational, coal-mining family, I believe we have the ability to not only decrease our carbon emissions substantially, but also create fresh economic opportunities for workers impacted by this energy transition. By working together we can craft a state strategy for complying with the Clean Power Plan that benefits all Pennsylvanians by ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency and creating new jobs.”
A link to the Department of Environmental Protection public hearings schedule is here: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=20831&typeid=1
The Clean Power PA coalition includes clean energy, business, faith, and community leaders committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s environment and powering its economy through clean energy. The coalition includes the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), PennFuture, Clean Air Council, Moms’ Clean Air Force, Penn Environment, NextGen Climate America, Conservation Voters of PA, Clean Water Action, Voces Verdes, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Audubon Pennsylvania.
The coalition recently launched a 30-second video featuring Pennsylvanians to demonstrate the widespread support for the CPP. The diverse support for the rule is backed up by a bipartisan poll released earlier this year that found 82 percent of Pennsylvanians want a strong CPP to reduce the pollution driving climate change. The poll is here: http://www.nrdc.org/media/2015/150205.asp
STREAMING AUDIO REPLAY: An audio recording of the September 14, 2015 telephone press conference is here: http://www.hastingsgroupmedia.com/NRDC/DEPListeningSessions091415.mp3