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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 8, 2021 02:42 PM
From: Senator Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: Carbon Capture and A Clean Energy Standard in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will introduce legislation to modernize the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Act (AEPS), create a new Clean Energy Standard in Pennsylvania, and invest in carbon capture technology to help make Pennsylvania energy emissions 100% carbon neutral by 2050 while supporting the Commonwealth’s thriving energy sector job base.

In 2021, the original AEPS will expire – offering a chance to build a new framework better suited to our current climate and energy challenges. A new AEPS, together with a Clean Energy Standard framework running parallel to the AEPS, will put Pennsylvania on the path to becoming a national leader in the fight against climate change while protecting good Pennsylvania jobs.

The AEPS requires a certain percentage of energy purchased by utility companies for use by Pennsylvania consumers to fall under designated tiers of energy. The original AEPS gave an important boost to the renewable and alternative energy industries in Pennsylvania. Our legislation builds on this success by investing in carbon capture technology and incentivizing the use of net-zero carbon emission fuel sources. This new and updated AEPS will expand from two to seven tiers to include carbon constrained coal and natural gas, existing and advanced nuclear, and hydrogen energy sources. These new tiers will work to keep Pennsylvania’s expansive energy industry alive and thriving, providing support for energy jobs and additional investment in carbon capture technology that will transform energy industries throughout the Commonwealth.

Running parallel to the AEPS will be a Clean Energy Standard. The Clean Energy Standard is defined as an overarching standard for total reductions in carbon emissions encompassing all energy sources within the AEPS tier system. Starting in 2022, the Clean Energy Standard will lay out a number of carbon reduction goals and the dates in which they should be accomplished. The end goal of the Clean Energy Standard will be to have a 100% carbon neutral Pennsylvania by the year 2050.

Introducing a Clean Energy Standard and running it alongside a new and expanded AEPS will ensure Pennsylvania protects our important energy jobs and joins the rest of the world as a leader in tackling the challenges of climate change head on. Not only will the new AEPS tiers give a boost to integral Pennsylvania energy industries, the Clean Energy Standard promises to ensure an environmentally friendly Pennsylvania for a long time to come.

I urge you to reach out with any ideas and join me a co-sponsor of this important piece of legislation. Please contact Micah Mahjoubian at micah@pasenate.com if you have any questions.

Introduced as SB979