Harrisburg, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Environmental Council supports companion legislation – Senate Bill 266 (sponsored by Senator Erickson) and House Bill 110 (sponsored by Representative Vitali) – due for consideration in the Senate and House this week. We urge you to contact your respective state Senators and Representatives in support of this important legislation.
Senate Bill 266 and House Bill 110 would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to develop, through a collaborative process, a Climate Change Assessment and Action Plan for Pennsylvania. We make our recommendation of support based on the two-year effort the Council led to develop a stakeholder-driven Climate Roadmap for Pennsylvania, which includes 38 specific recommendations for reducing our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. One recommendation was that a blue-ribbon panel be formed to develop specific state goals on climate change, like the one in Senate Bill 266 and House Bill 110.
During the process of developing the Roadmap, we discovered that Pennsylvania alone generates about 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, putting the Commonwealth in the top 25 emitting nations in the world and making us a significant contributor to the problem. But Pennsylvania also has significant opportunities for carbon sequestration value because our forests, agriculture industry and geology are well suited for achieving greenhouse gas reductions.
The Climate Roadmap recommends Pennsylvania develop a plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2025 from 2000 levels, and that Pennsylvania join a national cap and trade system for reducing greenhouse gasses.
We believe Senate Bill 266 and House Bill 110 are a significant step forward in creating a practical action plan to address the climate change issue in the Commonwealth, and want to commend the bills’ sponsors and the respective Senate and House Committees for considering this important legislation.