Category Archives: Energy & environment

Daylin Leach on Climate Change

from Daylin Leach for Congress (PA-07)

Climate change is an existential threat to our way of life. The science is absolutely clear on this issue, and it is apparent in the extreme weather conditions we see occurring all too often around the country and the world. We cannot afford to play politics with an issue of such grave importance, and in Congress I will work with leaders from across the political spectrum that are willing to find reasonable solutions to curbing our country’s carbon output as I have done in the state legislature where the first bill I successfully passed encouraged inclusion of hybrid vehicles in the state fleet and where I supported enacting Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require Pennsylvania’s energy companies to produce 18% of their energy through renewable technology.

There are many creative market-based solutions to solving climate change:

Under a cap-and-trade system, we as a country would decide how much carbon we want to emit every year, and give companies the right to emit a certain amount of carbon based on those goals. Companies that emit less than their goal can trade their credits to companies that produce more. This system encourages innovation and competition.

Another option is a carbon fee and dividend system which would place a predictable fee on businesses’ carbon emissions that would be revenue neutral for the federal government as it would be redistributed to American households in a yearly dividend. This system would both encourage reduction in carbon emissions while putting more money into middle class households and spurring the economy.

My commitment to protecting the environment and fighting climate change are among the reasons I have been recognized by environmental groups for my leadership on these issues. I am committed to continuing to work with other leaders in Congress to address this imminent crisis to our environment, our economy, and our way of life.

Gov. Wolf uses Elizabethtown College’s solar field to tout new law to boost in-state solar

by AD CRABLE, Lancaster Online, Nov 13 2017

With Elizabethtown College’s large solar array as a backdrop, Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday called new state legislation designed to boost renewable solar energy a “game-changer.”

Last week, Wolf signed into law changes to the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards, which since 2005 have required an increasing percentage of electricity used in Pennsylvania to be produced from alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, biofuels and methane captured from landfills.

By 2021, some 18 percent of all electricity will have to come from alternative energy sources. At least one-half a percent must be from solar. Currently, 13 percent of electricity in the state is from renewable sources.

However, Pennsylvania was one of two states with alternative-energy requirements that allowed renewable energy to be generated from out of state.

Currently, 26 percent of the solar renewable energy used in Pennsylvania is generated from outside the state’s borders.

That has resulted in a glut of solar power from out of state being offered for sale through credits. The new legislation still allows solar energy to be purchased from out of state but it cannot earn credits….

keep reading at Lancaster Online

Pollution kills 9 million people each year, new study finds

[And meanwhile, the Trump administration pushes to “loosen corporate regulations” and relinquish US world leadership. Are they aiming for 10 million? India, which has virtually no regulation is in the lead; but how many US deaths (including from cancers and respiratory diseases) and how much annual expense (not just health costs, but also missed work, property and crop damage, etc.) can be attributed to pollution (including pesticides and herbicides)?]

By Brady Dennis, Washington Post, October 19 2017

Dirty air in India and China. Tainted water in sub-Saharan Africa. Toxic mining and smelter operations in South America. Pollution around the globe now contributes to an estimated 9 million deaths annually — or roughly one in six — according to an in-depth new study published Thursday in the Lancet. If accurate, that means pollution kills three times more people each year than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, with most of those deaths in poor and developing countries.

“Going into this, my colleagues and I knew that pollution killed a lot of people. But we certainly did not have any idea of the total magnitude of the problem,” said Philip Landrigan, dean of global health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and co-chair of the commission behind the report. “I think all of us were really surprised when we saw this.”…

keep reading at Washington Post

The Climate Change Solutions Caucus is a Sham

By Richard Whiteford, West Chester Patch, 10/9/17 (also at WHYY, Oct. 23)

Rep. Costello, Meehan and Fitzpatrick do not walk the talk on climate change

Environmentalists rejoiced at the announcement that some Republican legislators in Washington joined the House Climate Solutions Caucus and publicly announced their acknowledgement that climate change is real and manmade. All-in-all there are 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans on this committee.

The ones in the Philadelphia region are Representative Patrick Meehan, PA-07, Representative Ryan Costello, PA-06 and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, PA-08. Two Democrats, Representative Brendan Boyle, PA-13 and Representative Matt Cartwright PA–17.

On closer inspection of their voting records, perhaps praise was premature. Close examination reveals that these Republicans voted against legislation that would fight climate change. So, serving on this committee, it appears, must be a typical political slight-of-hand smoke screen or case of the large print giveth and the small print taketh away….

Keep reading at West Chester Patch. Whiteford, a noted environmentalist and Chester County resident, shows that from the point of view of reducing man-made climate change, Costello has voted on the wrong side on 10 out of 13 bills and Meehan on 12 out of 13. Furthermore, both voted for a budget that would cut $800 million from EPA and for an amendment that “prohibits funds from being used to estimate the social cost of carbon.” Meanwhile, Chesco’s third representative in the US House, Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA 16), doesn’t even pretend to be trying to slow down climate change.