Pennsylvanians Rally for Climate Solutions, Demand Emphasis on Environment in Budget Agreement

Screenshot of the Climate Action virtual rallyScreenshot of the Climate Action virtual rally /Submitted Image

HARRISBURG, PA — In a surge of environmental activism, Pennsylvanians are urging for concrete climate solutions to be a non-negotiable part of any final budget agreement. This plea was echoed by more than 400 residents, representing over 50 state House and Senate districts, during the state’s largest annual environmental lobby day on Thursday.

Flora Cardoni, PennEnvironment’s field director articulated, “Hundreds of Pennsylvanians from all regions are pressing our elected officials in Harrisburg to act quickly on climate solution policies currently in progress in the General Assembly.”

The populace urged legislators to pass two critical bills included in Governor Shapiro’s Energy Plan: the PA Climate Emissions Reduction Program (PACER) and the PA Reliable Sustainable Energy Standard (PRESS). These bills, if passed, would cap climate pollution from the state’s major global warming polluters and quadruple the existing renewable energy requirements for utility companies. The proposed changes would entail that at least 35% of electricity in Pennsylvania be generated from wind and solar by 2035.

In addition, residents called for approval of Community Solar legislation, the Lake Erie Wind Development Act, Solar on Schools, and Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards. All four bills have cleared the state House and are awaiting Senate action.

Cardoni added, “Polls reveal that a majority of Pennsylvanians, irrespective of political leanings, favor increased renewable energy production and proactive measures against climate change.”

State Senator Carolyn Comitta, a strong advocate for environmental health stated, “As a prominent energy-producing state, Pennsylvania should take the lead in reducing harmful emissions and supporting clean energy. We can achieve this by passing legislation like PACER, PRESS, Solar for Schools, Community Solar, and more.”

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An impassioned State Representative Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware) echoed these sentiments, expressing delight over her energy-efficient appliance standards bill finally clearing the House after six years.

This year’s climate action lobby day received support from various environmental and public interest organizations. Cardoni concluded on an optimistic note, “Our participants demonstrated the resolve of our citizens to make Pennsylvania a climate champion. With so many beneficial policies ready for passing, it’s the perfect time for our legislators to heed our words and act for the people and the planet.”

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