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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 13, 2017 06:26 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa and Sen. Wayne D. Fontana, Sen. Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Meeting Pennsylvania's Responsibilities for Fighting Climate Change
In the near future, we will introduce legislation to ensure that Pennsylvania continues to fulfill its responsibility in fighting global climate change, strives to meet its commitments under the Paris climate accord and attain the goals set forth in the Clean Power Plan.

In view of the abdication of responsibility by the president on climate change, states, local governments, private companies and citizens are going to have to act without federal leadership to mitigate the growing impact of human causes of climate change.

Pennsylvania has already made important strides toward reducing greenhouse gases, but more work is needed to combat the real and serious threat of climate change. Already, mayors from Pa’s two largest cities have committed to reducing carbon emissions and working with partners globally and domestically to reach the goal.

Under the Clean Power Plan, Pennsylvania was required to reduce its emissions by 29 million tons, or 24 percent below 2012 levels, by 2030 (EPA 2015a). Pennsylvania is well positioned to meet this target, given its current transition from coal generation and growing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Our legislation will instruct the Pa Department of Environmental Protection, DEP, to revisit the plan that it was pursuing just months ago for submission to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA. Rather than submit the plan to the EPA, the bill will require the DEP to submit it to the General Assembly in the form of a joint resolution for final approval and subsequent implementation statewide. The Legislature will be given the opportunity to approve, deny or amend the plan.

We must act to prevent the worst impacts of global climate change. We are already seeing the many changes occurring to our planet’s environment, landscape, ecology and weather. Unabated, this will only get worse. Pennsylvania can be the leader that our current federal government elected officials are not willing to be.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation so that our state can stand with the world in fighting global climate change.

Introduced as SB15