Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pennsylvania - Clean Energy Funding Bill

Action Crucial to Cut Pollution, Build New Energy Economy
HARRISBURG, Pa.--(Business Wire)
Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) president and CEO John Hanger praised the members of the Pennsylvania State House for their passage today of Special Session HB 1 (SHB 1), the clean energy funding bill, which provides $850 million of investments in renewable energy, green buildings and energy efficiency. Included in the bill is $200 million for solar energy. The bipartisan bill passed with a vote of 126 to 74.
"With the national economy rapidly deteriorating and job losses mounting, Pennsylvania's elected officials can take  action at this critical time to generate great green jobs that will come from our investment in the green energy economy," said Hanger. "Senate approval of both this bill, and HB 2200, the clean energy bill which was passed by the House two weeks ago, would add thousands of additional clean energy jobs to the 3,000 that have already been created," continued Hanger.
"Both SHB 1 and HB 2200 will also give consumers real tools to manage increases in electricity prices when electric rate caps, that have already expired in six utility service territories, end in the rest of the state in the next 21 to 33 months," continued Hanger.
"And we haven't a moment to lose. Pennsylvania's competitors are already putting up cash to attract renewable energy businesses. Right across the Delaware, New Jersey Public Service and Gas Company has a $100 million program to provide long-term loans to builders and homeowners who install solar energy systems.
"Pennsylvanians need the tools to compete, and the energy savings bill and the clean energy funding bill will give us those tools," said Hanger. "By saving energy and money and investing in clean energy industries about to boom, we can create thousands of great green jobs in all parts of Pennsylvania. 
"House passage of the clean energy funding bill was due to the vision and persistence of a number of representatives, including the bill's prime sponsor, Eugene DePasquale (D-York), Majority Whip Keith McCall (D-Carbon), Appropriations Chair Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia), and Greg Vitali (D-Delaware). They, and all the representatives who voted for this bill, showed great foresight in giving Pennsylvanians the means to build our 21st Century green energy economy, full of great green jobs. We look forward to a similar vote in the Senate."
PennFuture, which is about to mark the tenth anniversary of the organization's founding, is a statewide public interest membership organization that advances policies to protect and improve the state's environment and economy. With offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and West Chester, PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level, public education and assisting citizens in public advocacy.

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