Thursday, March 27, 2014

Report Explores Extreme Weather and PA's Carbon Pollution Concerns

Tom Joseph, Public News Service-PA
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania is lagging behind other states when it comes to cutting carbon pollution, according to a new report from the environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment.

Elowyn Corby, a global warming and clean energy associate with PennEnvironment, says Pennsylvania could be playing a bigger role in the fight against global warming by boosting its clean energy standards, as many states already have.

"Right now we require 8 percent renewable resources, and we need to increase that substantially,” she stresses. “We know that we can reach 30 percent renewables by the year 2030. We need to move toward that goal."

The report also notes that scientists say extreme weather, such as Superstorm Sandy, foreshadows what could be a new normal of weather extremes, unless more climate-related action is taken.

Late last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said it would not recommend the state's Climate Change Advisory Committee debate or vote on a plan that considers increasing the state's renewable energy law, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.

In terms of effects on Pennsylvania's economy, Corby says the PennEnvironment report shows that clean energy is growing substantially across the country.

"Nationally, for instance, there have been more solar installs over the past 18 months than in the past 30 years combined,” she points out. “Renewable energy is taking off, not only as a solution to climate issues, it's also a good investment."

Corby adds power plants in Pennsylvania account for about 47 percent of the state's total carbon pollution.

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