Casey: Pennsylvania Can Play a Key Role in Clean Energy Economy and Combating Climate Change

PITTSBURGH, PA- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today spoke at Carnegie Mellon University about Pennsylvania’s proud industrial and manufacturing heritage, natural resources and skilled workforce as a backdrop for the state’s transition to a clean energy economy.  Senator Casey highlighted the important role Pennsylvania can play as our nation moves forward to regain control of our economy, our national security and our energy future.

“By choosing the right path America can regain control and reclaim its competitive edge, restore its energy independence and create a new economic engine that will drive our economy through the 21st Century,” said Senator Casey.  “We need not look any farther than Pittsburgh for a shining example of how an economy can transform itself.  And it is time that Pennsylvania, with its long history of hard work, ingenuity, spirit and skill help lead the Nation’s next great economic revolution.  We have already taken advantage of the well-trained, dedicated, skilled workforce and entrepreneurial spirit that has grown out of our industrial past and present, as Pennsylvania has fast become a leader in clean and renewable energy.”  

Senator Casey continued: “So it is time that Washington moves forward with responsible climate legislation that will reduce carbon pollution and invest in clean energy technology to expand our nation’s manufacturing and industrial base and create a new generation of job opportunities.”

As the Senate debate on climate change progresses, Senator Casey has taken action on a number of initiatives to promote the clean energy economy and advocate for Pennsylvania.

Last year, after lengthy opposition, a number of tax incentives were extended for businesses that invest in power generated from wind, the sun, geothermal and other sources of clean, renewable energy.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enacted earlier this year includes over $80 billion in investments in clean energy to jump-start the effort to create clean energy jobs and the economy. That includes tax incentives for clean energy manufacturers and for small businesses and families to invest in energy efficiencies. And already, $455 million has been set aside for Pennsylvania to promote energy independence and another $233 million was recently announced to create a more efficient and reliable electrical grid system in Pennsylvania.

To reduce pollution from manufacturing and electricity generation, Senator Casey has been a proponent of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.  He has worked with other senators from coal states to recommend ways to accelerate the demonstration and deployment of CCS.  He has also introduced legislation to increase funding for clean coal research, development and demonstration with much of that RD&D being conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in South Park, Pennsylvania.  And along with Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), he introduced S. 1502, the Carbon Storage Stewardship Trust Fund Act of 2009, that will help ensure the safety and long-term stewardship of storing carbon dioxide in geological formations.

To provide a bridge for our workers and our communities as we move to a clean energy economy, Senator Casey recently introduced S. 2742, the American Worker and Community Assistance Act.  This legislation will help workers affected by pollution reduction legislation.  The bill provides job training assistance, wage replacement and health benefits replacement to workers in energy-intensive industries. The bill also enables communities to obtain grants to develop comprehensive strategic plans for community redevelopment, economic adjustment, diversification of employment opportunities, environmental remediation projects, and public infrastructure construction projects.

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