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PA-Gov: Schwartz Introduces Alt Energy Plan

Allyson Schwartz
Rep. Schwartz

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery) introduced her alternative energy plan today which includes an increase in clean energy, land conservation and incentives for smart, green growth.

“Investing in clean and renewable energy sources will create new wealth and job opportunities for Pennsylvanians, and responsible stewardship will ensure that Pennsylvania’s environment is preserved for generations to come,” Schwartz said. “Leading the way on clean energy doesn’t just make economic sense – it is our moral obligation. But Governor Corbett is failing us with a lack of vision and a refusal to harness Pennsylvania’s potential to create jobs while safeguarding the environment.”

The following is the summary of her sustainability plan as provided by the Schwartz campaign:

Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Standard to Require “30 by 30.” Schwartz will enhance Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard to require that Pennsylvania obtain 30 percent of its electricity from clean, renewable sources by 2030. This ambitious but achievable goal will expand job opportunities, reduce carbon emissions, and make Pennsylvania a national leader in renewable energy.

Creating a “Gifford Pinchot Land Conservation Fund.” As governor, Schwartz will use the profits from her proposed 5 percent severance tax on shale gas production to create the Gifford Pinchot Land Conservation Fund. Named for a former governor of Pennsylvania and father of the American conservation movement, this private-public partnership will be used to protect open space, reduce carbon emissions by improving natural carbon sinks, and fund land reclamation projects across the Commonwealth.

Making Pennsylvania an Energy Efficiency Leader. Schwartz will strengthen Act 129, which requires Pennsylvania electric distribution companies to conserve electricity. The first phase of Act 129 generated nearly $300 million in annual savings for Pennsylvanians. Schwartz will also promote green building standards and will use revenue from a severance tax on natural gas drilling to fund energy efficiency upgrades.

Developing a Clean Energy Economy. Schwartz will support investments in clean energy and the development of alternative transportation options. She will also prepare Pennsylvanians for the clean energy economy by supporting green workforce training.

Building Green Communities. As governor, Schwartz will prioritize developing sustainable “green communities” by incentivizing smart growth in cities, towns, and rural areas across the Commonwealth.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions. To address climate change, Schwartz will have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The Commonwealth will work with the nine other states in RGGI to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In her bid for the Democratic nomination, Schwartz faces two past Secretaries of the Department of Environmental Protection: John Hanger and Katie McGinty. Hanger wrote the moratorium on public land drilling during his tenure, so Schwartz has some ground to make up on her environmental credentials.

Also in the field are State Treasurer Rob McCord, former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, former Auditor General Jack Wagner and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.

7 Responses

  1. Please don’t vote for this lady in the primary, she is the only Democrat Corbett can actually defeat.

  2. Dear Steve in PA: Eventually we will run out of both coal, gas and oil. Why continue to extract, burn and contribute to climate change, while destroying our water, air and land? Why continue to subsidize fossil and nuclear energy industries that make us more vulnerable and depending on foreign sources of energy? Why not invest in renewable energy, smart grid technology that truly makes us more resilient and independent of foreign sources of energy? Germany is pursuing a renewable energy path. They are not wrecking their economy or bringing about their country to “starve and freeze in the dark” as the propaganda of the energy industry would have us to believe. Dr. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University and Dr. Mark Dilucchi have just presented their plan to power the United States in all 50 states without fossil fuel or nuclear power at a symposium of the National Academy of Sciences. What we are lacking is the political will to do this because the energy industry has brainwashed the American public and corrupted our government by their campaign contributions. We have the technology and resources to do this by 2050. If the Germans can do this, we can do this.

  3. Is it too late for the Mine Workers to dump their endorsement of Alison?

  4. The good old days: in 2008, the PA General Assembly required the PA DEP to produce a Climate Change Action Plan, which it did in December 2009, under the leadership of then Secretary of DEP John Hanger.

    You can download the 793-page document with 52 concrete recommendations at When the current governor took office, the plan was shelved.

    The report (p. 61) notes that:

    “The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) was signed into law on November 24, 2004. It requires that all electricity sold in Pennsylvania at retail by regulated electric utilities include prescribed levels of renewable and sustainable energy. The required levels of AEPS resources by 2021, and all future years, are at least 0.5% solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, 7.5% from other renewable (Tier I) sources, and 10% from other alternative energy (Tier II) sources.”

    While not all permitted energy sources under AEPS are “clean, renewable sources” and not all would necessarily reduce global warming, progress has been occurring, and if we can get to 21% by 2021 why not 30% by 2030?

    As it happens, the AEPS is administered by the Public Utilities Commission where John Hanger served as commissioner.

    With the right people leading, Pennsylvania can set and meet the needed goals. Pennsylvania currently produces 1% of the planet’s (not the country’s, but the whole planet’s) global warming gases. Pennsylvanians just can’t feel good about that.

  5. Steve in PA-
    “as and coal. That’s the future, not this renewable crap”

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Read some science news. Progress is being made every day.

    My “quibble” with Schwartz is with the rosy projection of 30% as early as 2030.

    Coal is being phased out, unless they come up with a new way to get energy out of it cleanly.

    Recently, losses/reductions in coal plants have been offset by increases in wind/solar production combined with improvements in energy efficiency.

  6. Two questions for context:

    1) What is the current percentage of renewable?

    2) What is the trend/projection under existing plans/policies, as well as existing research estimates as to cost/effort to get to 30%.

    I think we are around 3% to 4% now. 30% seems a bit unrealistic as it would require more infrastructure and technology changes than merely adding windmills and solar. There would need to be a major breakthrough in nanotechnology or sustainable fusion to replace coal and gas.

    10 times as much solar/wind in 16 years? We’d have to add almost everything we currently have in capacity each year (replacing aging systems along the way).

    BTW, “reduce carbon emissions” is a great goal too, but scrubbing coal doesn’t make coal a renewable source, even if you can make it cleaner.

    My point being, 2030 will be 16 years after Schwartz loses this election, so I’m wondering what is the expected use of renewable energy anyway.

  7. This lady is completely nuts. Not just a little crazy, but she’s a true-believer of everything in the DNC playbook. Yeah, she’s really that crazy. She’s pure Philadelphia. PA is one of the largest energy-producing states….with gas and coal. That’s the future, not this renewable crap that liberals love to talk about. I pray that this nutcase wins the nomination. She’s out of her league here and would get crushed in a state-wide election. Every day would be a new ad about her crazy abortion views, her anti-gun views, her attempts to destroy the gas/coal industry in PA. Please, Democrats, vote for this psycho!!!

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