December 26, 2020

PennFuture Letter to the Editor in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Letter to the editor: Pennsylvanians want climate change action

Climate change is one of the greatest threats we face as a nation. Stronger storms and more frequent flooding are already happening in Pennsylvania, and severe weather is expected to get worse.
Taking steps to address the climate crisis isn’t just a good idea, it’s what people want. A recent poll showed about 70% of Pennsylvania residents want their lawmakers to do more to address climate change.

Despite both, the General Assembly in 2019 did exactly the opposite in attempting to pass a bill that would restrict Gov. Tom Wolf’s authority to implement a carbon reduction program here similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The benefits of a program like RGGI are hard to ignore. Experts project that Pennsylvania can cut carbon pollution by more than 180 million tons, equal to the impact of taking 4 million cars off the road, while creating more than 27,000 more jobs and adding nearly $2 billion to the state’s economy.

Why, then, are our lawmakers in Harrisburg trying so hard to block a carbon-reduction program that would have real and immediate environmental and economic benefits in Pennsylvania?

Thankfully, a new session of the General Assembly began in early December. With some new faces in Harrisburg comes the potential for lawmakers to work in tandem with Wolf on climate change and RGGI, instead of being obstructionists and blocking real action that a clear majority of Pennsylvanians seek from their leaders. ​

Jared Stonesifer
Cranberry Township