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The Need to Act on Climate Change

In November, I wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to support EPA’s comprehensive Clean Power Plan to lower carbon pollution while urging EPA to adopt a structure that would be fairer to the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania powers states throughout the region and has made great strides as a leader in the development of clean energy sources.

We must be serious about the threat of climate change for the sake of public health, national security and children’s health. I support the need for a comprehensive climate change plan. We must rise to the challenge of climate change and revitalize our economy by increasing our efforts in the areas of energy efficiency; developing and adopting cleaner ways of producing electricity; and creating jobs.

The key points of my letter:

  • We must take action on climate change because it poses a serious threat to public health, the environment and national security.
  • The transition to cleaner energy must include a pathway for multiple forms of electricity generation including clean coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, biomass and other renewables, as well as energy efficiency measures.
  • EPA’s comprehensive four-building-block plan is a necessary and effective approach to reducing carbon pollution.
  • Pennsylvania is a net-energy-producing state (generating more power than it consumes) whose economy is built on affordable electricity for manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries.
  • EPA’s renewable energy target for Pennsylvania imposes an unequal burden on the Commonwealth relative to other states with much greater renewable energy potential, and it wouldn’t be possible to get greater carbon pollution reductions from the other three building blocks in Pennsylvania.
  • EPA must give greater recognition to zero-carbon sources such as nuclear power and hydropower to provide an incentive for these sources to remain in operation, as they make up a large portion of Pennsylvania’s electricity sources that would lower its carbon pollution rate.
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