Comitta, McCarter seek to modernize Pennsylvania’s renewable energy standards
HARRISBURG, April 17 — At a Capitol news conference, state Reps. Carolyn T. Comitta, D-Chester, and Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, joined state Sens. Art Haywood, Thomas H. Killion and Steven J. Santarsiero to call attention to climate change, its grave impacts and the urgent need to modernize the commonwealth’s renewable energy standards.
Comitta and McCarter are both members of the bicameral, bipartisan Pennsylvania Climate Caucus. Comitta is vice chair; McCarter is its founder and chair.
Their bill and a Senate companion bill introduced by Haywood, Killion and Santarsiero both seek to implement stronger renewable energy goals within the commonwealth to create good jobs, cut pollution and ensure a sustainable and prosperous Pennsylvania for future generations.
“I am proud to join the calls for modernizing the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards,” Comitta said. “Our state has already made important investments in alternative and clean-energy technologies, but we must do more. Adjusting our electrical energy requirements to 30 percent by 2030 will solidify our path to reducing our carbon footprint and advance Pennsylvania toward becoming a national energy leader.”
The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act was a forward-looking policy when it was enacted in 2004. But in the intervening years, Pennsylvania has fallen behind neighboring states like New Jersey and Maryland, which have enacted stronger energy standards, creating thousands of new, family-sustaining jobs and cutting emissions in the process.
Comitta’s and McCarter’s legislation, which sets the goal of increasing renewable energy purchases by utilities from 8% to 30% by 2030, seeks to move Pennsylvania -- and Pennsylvanians -- forward.
Specifically, the legislation would:
- Expand the AEPS alternative energy requirement from 8% to 30% by 2030, including 7.5% for in-state grid-scale solar and 2.5% for in-state distributed generation solar.
- Direct the Pennsylvania Utility Commission to study the benefits of a renewable energy storage program.
- Provide for several protections that control costs for electricity customers.
“The fierce and immediate urgency of climate change requires a fierce and immediate response,” McCarter said. “Thirty by ’30 is an excellent immediate goal. It’s reasonable and achievable. It creates jobs in Pennsylvania. And, most importantly, it sets the stage for the much tougher work to come.”