News

May 7, 2019

Bipartisan Bills Set 100% Renewable Energy Target for PA by 2050

Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Philadelphia, and Sen. Tom Killion, R-Delaware County, today announced the re-introduction of legislation supported by 88 Republican and Democratic legislators to require Pennsylvania to rely on renewable sources for 100 percent of its energy by 2050.

“The vast majority of scientists agree: Climate change is real. And you don’t have to be a scientist to notice its effects, which have been caused by human activity,” said Rabb in introducing HB1425.  “By resorting to 100 percent renewable energy in the commonwealth, we can help to slow this change or face the on-going irreparable damage and its detrimental consequences.”

Under the legislation, the Commonwealth would be required to develop a plan to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Benchmarks for phasing out nonrenewable energy would be set by requiring 50 percent renewable energy with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, 80 percent renewable energy by 2040 and, ultimately, 100 percent renewable energy for all energy production sectors by 2050.

The intent of this legislation is to achieve what the scientific community in Pennsylvania and internationally have stated must be accomplished to avoid the worst effects of climate change; eliminating global warming pollution by 2050 to avoid a climate change “tipping point” from which the planet cannot turn back.

“As Christians, we believe that we are called to be stewards of God’s good and ongoing creation,”  LAMPa Director Tracey DePasquale said as she underscored the urgency of action.  “We know that creation is groaning. We see the effects, great and small, in our daily vocations. We witness it in human misery and scarred earth as we respond to disasters in our hometowns and around the globe. We also know that stewardship of our citizenship will decide the future our children inherit. How much more suffering, how much groaning, are we sowing here and now?”

“For far too long, Pennsylvania has been a huge part of the problem when it comes to climate change, said David Masur, PennEnvironment’s executive director. “With the introduction of today’s legislation, Pennsylvania can be a huge part of the solution in the race to fight climate change.”

Hawaii (2015), California (2018) and New Mexico (2019) have passed similar legislation. Washington’s governor signed their bill into law this week, and additional legislation is pending in Colorado, Maryland and Massachusetts.

“Renewable energy is paramount to our country’s future,” Sen. Killion said in introducing SB630. “The clean energy revolution will continue to create new jobs, protect our environment and reduce global warming. We must do all that we can to ensure its success over the coming decades.”

The sponsors were joined at the legislation’s announcement by a diverse set of constituencies, showing their support for tackling climate change.

”Lightsource BP looks forward to delivering affordable, local solar to help Pennsylvania achieve its ambitious clean energy targets,” said Laurie Mazer, vice president of development for Lightsource BP. “As a Pennsylvania-based developer, I am proud our in-state solar projects will drive economic development and job growth, increase biodiversity, support Penn State’s sustainability goals, and provide a cleaner, healthier environment for all Pennsylvania residents.”

Polls show growing bipartisan support from Pennsylvania voters for aggressive action to tackle climate change. In March, a survey by Franklin and Marshall University found that 67 percent of registered voters in the Commonwealth agree that climate change is currently causing problems and 68 percent believe that the legislature should do more to combat it.

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