PennFuture is taking a wait and see approach to Governor Wolf’s recently announced Restore Pennsylvania plan, due to concerns about its potential impact on climate change.
“The Governor has put together a bold plan to tackle the many infrastructure problems impacting Pennsylvanians that includes important investments in flood mitigation, recreation projects, and clean water infrastructure, but the devil is in the details,” said PennFuture President & CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. “A closer look is needed at the size and potential impacts the proposed subsidies for natural gas and petrochemical businesses would have on Pennsylvania carbon reduction goals, which the Governor announced on January 8th.”
Restore Pennsylvania aims to invest $4.7B over four years to address five targeted infrastructure issues impacting Pennsylvanians: high-speed internet access, storm preparedness and disaster recovery, natural gas and petrochemical buildout, blight redevelopment, and transportation projects. Details on how the projects will be chosen and how much investment would go to each bucket of projects have not been announced yet. Projects would be financed by a severance tax on natural gas.
On January 8th, Governor Wolf announced a historic executive order setting the first-ever carbon reduction target for Pennsylvania. The Executive Order calls for a 26% reduction by 2025 and an 80% reduction by 2050 from a 2005 baseline.
“Pennsylvania was hit hard in 2018 by unprecedented flooding and extreme rain events supercharged by rising global temperatures,” Bonomo said. “Communities need help rebuilding their infrastructure, not help supporting fossil fuel projects that will cause more extreme weather disasters, which is why I’m calling on the House and Senate co-sponsors of the Restore Pennsylvania legislation to take additional steps to allow financing for climate-safe projects like energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
Restore Pennsylvania is being co-sponsored in the State Senate by Senators John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) and Tom Killion (R-Delaware) as well as in the State House by Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Pittsburgh) and Tom Murt (R-Hatboro). Legislative details for the Restore Pennsylvania plan are forthcoming.
PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water, and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. For more information, visit www.pennfuture.org.