To: The Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Corbett
Let's power Pennsylvania with 100% renewable energy in 10 years
Pass a Renewable Energy Standard requiring 100% of Pennsylvania’s electricity supply to come from clean sources within 10 years.
Why is this important?
In the face of catastrophic climate change, we need bold solutions which speed our shift to clean, renewable energy sources. Scientists say we need to reduce emissions 50% percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avert catastrophic climate change, but PA’s current law doesn’t reduce our climate pollution fast enough. Pennsylvania has the opportunity to lead the way in the fight against climate change by passing the nation’s strongest clean energy law.
When first put in place, Pennsylvania’s standards for clean energy were ambitious in comparison to what other states were doing. The state set a goal for 18% of its power to come from renewables by 2020, though lobbyists made sure that only 8% would be from genuinely clean “Tier One” renewable sources, like wind and solar. After compromises with the fossil fuel and power industry, the majority would come from dirty “Tier Two” sources, like waste coal and burning trash. Only 0.5% of the state’s electricity would come from solar energy by 2020.
Pennsylvania can and must do better, which is why we're pushing for a standard that's 100% renewable within 10 years.
This isn’t just a matter of expanding the Renewable Energy Standard in Pennsylvania. It’s also about making sure conservative corporate front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) don’t pass legislation repealing Pennsylvania’s already-tepid standards for renewables. ALEC and the climate-denying Heartland Institute are responsible for efforts to repeal renewable energy standards in twenty-nine states, including Pennsylvania.
ALEC and Heartland were recently defeated in their attempt to repeal Kansas and North Carolina’s renewable energy standards, proving that the efforts by big oil, big fracking, and big coal to fight against progress towards clean energy sources can be defeated, even in traditionally conservative states. These defeats haven't caused these conservative groups to stop their push against basic renewable standards - the legislation is already coming back up in North Carolina!
Switching to powering Pennsylvania with clean energy isn’t just about fighting climate change and stopping the negative health impacts of burning fossil fuels. The construction and installation of new wind and solar farms would also lead to thousands of new well-paying and union jobs.
The timing is right to not only reject legislation from dirty energy companies to reduce the standards for renewable energy set by states like Pennsylvania, but to push boldly towards a 100% clean energy future. It’s time that Pennsylvania’s legislators take clear action to get to 100% Tier One, real, renewable sources for electric generation. No more incrementalism. No steps backward. Only a strong push into the future of clean energy, strong job growth and a healthy future will do for Pennsylvania. Call on the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Corbett to pass a renewable energy standard that gets us 100% renewable in ten years.
1. Developed Nations Must Cut Emissions In Half By 2020, Says New Study, 3/7/2013 http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/07/1685881/developed-nations-must-cut-emissions-in-half-by-2020-says-new-study/
2. DSIRE Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?incentive_code=pa06r
3. ALEC and Heartland Aim to Crush Renewable Energy Standards in the States, 11/27/12 http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/11/11878/alec-and-heartland-aim-crush-renewable-energy-standards-states
4. Effort to push back renewable energy requirements fails in House committee, 3/20/13 http://www.kansas.com/2013/03/19/2723047/effort-to-push-back-renewable.html
5. Big Defeat for ALEC's Effort to Repeal Renewable Energy Standards in North Carolina, 4/24/13 http://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/04/12075/big-defeat-alecs-effort-repeal-renewable-energy-standards-north-carolina
6. ‘Banana Republic’ In North Carolina: GOP Committee Chair ‘Approves’ Bill To Gut Clean Energy Without Counting Votes, 5/2/13 http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/02/1952321/banana-republic-in-north-carolina-gop-committee-chair-approves-bill-to-gut-clean-energy-without-counting-votes/