New Hope, PA - Today, PennEnvironment was joined by Representative Helen Tai and Representative Tina Davis to hold a clean energy social event at Triumph Brewery, promoting clean energy solutions and calling on Pennsylvania to transition to 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible. With record heat waves and torrential downpours hitting the state and wildfires burning across the west coast, the need for clean energy solutions and moving off of fossil fuels to solve climate change could not be any clearer.
“Eliminating the use of fossil fuels here in the Commonwealth would save consumers money, reduce harmful air pollution, and combat climate change,” said Megan Chellew, Climate Defender Organizer for Bucks County at PennEnvironment. “We applaud Representative Helen Tai and Representative Tina Davis for cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to make Pennsylvania a leader in tackling climate change.”
Both state representatives in attendance have cosponsored HB 2132 - legislation that would require Pennsylvania to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
“We are paving the way for solutions to improve the health of our communities,” said Representative Helen Tai.
Citizens met with local energy professionals to learn about clean energy solutions that are already happening in Bucks County; speakers shared their personal and professional stories and answered questions about renewable energy; elected officials chatted with their constituents over some great beers from Triumph about Pennsylvania’s renewable energy future.
“‘Bucks Renewable Energy on Tap’ was a great chance to come together and discuss the future of renewable energy and how we can further develop and incentivize it to protect our precious natural resources while making Pennsylvania a leader in this exciting and fast growing sector of our economy,” said Representative Tina Davis.
Pennsylvania currently has over 85,000 jobs in the clean energy sector, a number which will only climb as the Commonwealth continues to invest in renewable energy. Despite Pennsylvania’s long standing history in fossil fuel extraction, the clean energy sector now has more jobs than all fossil fuel sectors combined. Today’s event showed the strong economic potential from transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
"Renewable energy is important to me because it truly is a win-win-win proposition,” said Mark Bortman, founder and president of Exact Solar. “People save money on their energy bills, good, high-paying jobs are created, and the environmental benefits are tremendous. The true costs of fossil fuels -- both environmental and health -- are very much greater than most people realize."
“Solar and wind generation are the leading source of new generation worldwide, and now produce electricity below the cost of old polluting coal plants,” said Brent Alderfer, CEO of Community Energy, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based national developer of solar and wind generation. “Bottom line, there is no reason not to convert to clean renewable generation, both to save the climate and secure long-lasting employment for workers in Pennsylvania.”
“[Wind energy] work is 24/7/365 - local jobs, valuable job training, education and experience in working with power generation equipment, said Ann Mitchell, who is the General Counsel and Vice President of Abington Reldan Metals, and a former Director of Contracts for Gamesa Siemans Technology. Wind farms aren't just a greener source of energy - they are good business for the local economy because they continue to need a work force for the next 20- 25 years. Pipelines and fracking - cannot compare."
"As a Pediatrician I also understand the science that makes air pollution and the effects of climate change have a disproportionate effect on children...Transitioning to 100% renewable energy will help children now and help them grow into healthier adults,” said Sheila Knerr, Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania
The event attendees and elected officials committed to continue working together to fight climate change and bring about a 100% renewable energy future, helping to ensure a livable climate for future generations of Pennsylvanians.
PennEnvironment is holding events like this throughout the state to educate local residents and elected officials, and to increase activism and engagement in the fight to solve climate change.
PennEnvironment is a citizen-based, statewide environmental advocacy organization working to ensure clean air, clean water, and protecting Pennsylvania’s great natural heritage. For more information about this and other PennEnvironment projects, visit www.PennEnvironment.org.