Haverford, PA - Today, PennEnvironment was joined by Senator Daylin Leach, Representative Mary Jo Daley, Representative Madeleine Dean, Representative Tim Briggs and Representative Greg Vitali to hold a clean energy forum 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 Viveth Karthikeyan, Climate Defender Organizer for Montgomery County at PennEnvironment. “We applaud Greg Vitali and Tim Brigs for putting their money where their mouth is and cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to make Pennsylvania a leader in tackling climate change.”
The state elected officials in attendance have all cosponsored legislation in the General Assembly that would require Pennsylvania to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. This legislation is HB2132 in the state House and SB1140 in the state Senate.
Representative Greg Vitali added that “Climate change is the greatest long term threat to this planet and Pennsylvania produces about one percent to the world's greenhouse gases. That's why it’s so important our state reach carbon neutrality as soon as practicable”
Over sixty citizens attended an informational panel about the transition away from fossil fuels. Legislators spoke on a panel about clean energy solutions, why they supported renewable energy, and how they were going to proceed to push the issue in the future. Citizens asked questions of the elected officials and connected with them over the politics they want from their legislators. Many local environmental groups including the Sierra Club RF100, Citizen Climate Lobby, Weavers Way Solar Co-Op, and The Environmental Club of Harriton High school were also in attendance.
Senator Daylin Leach said “I’m looking forward to joining Penn Environment and some of my colleagues this evening to discuss replacing fossil fuel energy in Pennsylvania with 100 percent renewable energy. Renewable energy sources can reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the air and it will be beneficial for Pennsylvania to decrease its dependence on oil companies.”
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.
Mary Jo Daley added that “Converting to 100% renewable energy is a necessary step in combating climate change and securing energy independence. It is our job to change the disastrous course we are currently on and to protect the environment for future generations.”
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 Delaware Valley 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