A Green Stimulus and Recovery Platform for Pennsylvania

Before the pandemic, Pennsylvania faced urgent challenges: a weakening economy too reliant on fossil fuels for prosperity, crumbling natural and physical infrastructure, severe economic and environmental inequality, and a worsening climate crisis. COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges to unprecedented levels, but it is also providing an opportunity for bold action—green stimulus and recovery investments that puts Pennsylvania back to work in our nature-based and clean energy industries.

PennFuture’s Green Stimulus and Recovery Platform for Pennsylvania aims to achieve four overarching goals:

  • Safely and equitably restart the economy in a way that protects human health from both the pandemic as well as pollution.
  • Avoid state budget cuts that will harm economic recovery and set back our nature-based businesses.
  • Target recovery investments that put Pennsylvanians back to work rebuilding our natural infrastructure.
  • Support Pennsylvania’s homegrown sustainable industries, like clean energy, that have long-term growth trajectories.

The policy agenda is estimated to require $2.83 billion in annual investments for the duration of the crisis and recovery, preserving or creating as many as 389,000 jobs.

 

 

Total Investment

Jobs Preserved or Created

Preserve Nature-Based Small Businesses

   

    Support Nature-Based Tourism Businesses

$130 million

250,000

    Support Small Farmers and Food Producers

$340 million

102,000

Green Jobs Program

   

    Conservation and Economic Recovery Corps

$905 million

15,000 (Minimum)

    Legacy Drilling and Mining Pollution

$673 million

8,480

    Shovel-Ready Energy Efficiency Projects

$397 million

7,940

    Shovel-Ready Clean Water Infrastructure

$385 million

5,775

TOTAL, Jobs and Stimulus Proposals

$2.83 billion

389,195

 
The agenda includes policy recommendations that require executive action and/or legislative actions, as well as proposals for new programs as well as investments in existing efforts. It provides a broad set of solutions that strengthen the Commonwealth’s sustainable industries, while leveraging their growth and dynamism as a cornerstone for recovery.
 
Download the Full Report Here
 
Download the Executive Summary Here
 
Download the Checklist of Policy Recommendations Here
 
The report rejects the austerity measures the Commonwealth has used in the past during times of crisis, including deep budget cuts to nature-based agencies, drawing down dedicated revenue for conservation, and providing significant subsidies for fossil fuel companies.
 
Instead, this agenda takes a more positive vision for the Commonwealth and the role our policymakers can take in creating a better future for our constituents. Individual policy sections can be quickly read in the following leave behinds:

  • Preserve Pennsylvania’s Nature-Based Small Businesses from Collapse (Download)
  • Create a Pennsylvania Conservation and Economic Recovery Corps (Download)
  • Create Jobs by Addressing Legacy Drilling and Mining Pollution (Download)
  • Deploy Shovel-Ready Energy Efficiency Projects to Modernize Our Homes and Businesses (Download)
  • Modernize Clean Water Infrastructure (Download)
  • Advance Economic Recovery by Doubling Down on Pennsylvania’s Clean Energy Industries (Download)

While this report aims to help address the pandemic-fueled economic crisis in Pennsylvania, it is also an evergreen model for how state policymakers can diversify and modernize its economy. Stuck in the same boom-and-bust cycle for over a century, Pennsylvania needs to implement green stimulus and recovery policies that provide long-term, sustainable growth for its workers, families, and residents. It would also provide significant co-benefits: less air, climate, and water pollution that makes our Commonwealth sick.

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