PennFuture released the following statement on July 14 after the passage of House Bill 732:
“Gov. Wolf and the majority of our state legislators have put into law their vision for Pennsylvania’s future—dirty air and water choking our communities, extreme weather caused by climate change, and towns and cities beholden yet again to another economically unviable, polluting fossil fuel industry for the promise of jobs. Our state leaders have turned their backs on Pennsylvanians who deserve more than the same failed economic policies of the last century,” said Jacquelyn Bonomo, President and CEO of PennFuture.
“Time and again, polls show a majority of Pennsylvanians support more action to combat climate change, more investments in sustainable industries, and oppose corporate handouts like HB 732, which will provide $670 million in taxpayer subsidies to an already heavily subsidized fossil fuel industry. Over 25 years, the subsidy would support petrochemical plants that add over 130 million tons of pollution and create 3,200 jobs. In comparison, DEP’s recent modeling suggests aligning Pennsylvania with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) could save 223 million tons of carbon pollution and provide billions in net benefits and 27,000 jobs. Not only does HB 732 greatly reduce the effectiveness of RGGI, it provides less overall job and economic benefit than transitioning to a clean energy economy,” Bonomo continued.
“As the state Attorney General grand jury report on the shale gas industry shows clearly, the fracked gas and petrochemical industries cannot be trusted to operate safely in the Commonwealth. Instead of holding the industry accountable, our so-called leaders are giving them millions in precious taxpayer dollars. Instead of pursuing a cleaner, more prosperous vision for Pennsylvania, the Governor and state legislators have chosen the same dirty past. The back-room deal negotiated to create HB 732 is reckless. It is now up to the court system to protect ordinary Pennsylvanians and for future leaders to undo the damage this deal allows.”
PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania, fighting big polluters with legal muscle, enforcing environmental laws, and supporting legislative policy that protects public health. PennFuture is engaging and educating citizens about the realities of climate change, and giving them the tools needed to influence lawmakers on the issues. Visit www.pennfuture.org for more information.
Director of Media Relations