Pennsylvania Clean Energy Industry Endangered

According to the environmental advocacy group Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), the administration of Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has been putting the state’s clean energy jobs and businesses at risk by making cuts to programs that save money and support the clean energy economy. To counter this direction, PennFuture has launched a comprehensive effort they call the Campaign to Protect Clean Energy and Pennsylvania Jobs.

“We cannot stand by while our homegrown clean energy industry is destroyed and its good jobs are killed,” said Jan Jarrett, PennFuture’s president and CEO. “And we know that once businesses and consumers realize the threat, they will make sure that Harrisburg’s job-killing plans are stopped.”

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Since taking office in January of 2011, the Corbett administration is said to have been guiding the state’s energy policy away from renewable energy and energy conservation. State executive agencies are now forbidden to sign contracts that support the clean energy supply. Programs created by previous administrations have been eliminated while key agencies such Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Energy and Technology Deployment and the Office of Energy Management have had their directors reassigned and staffs gutted.

According to PennFuture, the state’s clean energy laws have been responsible for the formation of more than 106,000 jobs, despite a national recession. Clean energy businesses have built more than 4,000 solar panels, 16 large wind farms as well as encouraged farmers to install biodigesters and businesses to enact energy efficient, clean improvements to their worksites. According to their plan, PennFuture hopes to enlist the businesses who have benefitted from these laws in their advocacy efforts.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.