House Considers Amendments to Governor’s $850 Million Energy Plan
The House in Special Energy Session considered amendments to Special Session House Bill 1 (DePasquale-D-York) that establishes Gov. Rendell’s $850 million bond-funded Energy Independence Plan to support clean and renewable energy resources and energy conservation programs.
The bill would allocate $850 million in bond funding to the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority and the Commonwealth Financing Agency to support research, development and deployment of various alternative energy projects and technologies.
Proposals include creating a rebate program for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and establishing a rebate and grant program for the use of solar energy. In addition, a percentage of the funding would provide grants and loans for alternative energy projects, alternative fuels, demand-side management and energy-efficient measures.
"We are in a position to become a leader in alternative energy production and we need to continue to think outside the box and provide incentives that will encourage industries and consumers to be more energy efficient, while bringing new economic development opportunities to our region," Rep. Eugene DePasquale said.
"Investing in alternative energy and moving away from our dependence on Middle East oil will provide us with an opportunity to create jobs, protect our environment and national security interests, and strengthen the energy industry all while adding cost savings for consumers," Rep. DePasquale said. "I am excited to move forward with this initiative and provide the Senate with a comprehensive and detailed approach to making Pennsylvania a national leader in alternative energy production."
The House added amendments to the bill that would provide a set aside of $30 million to support the development of wind energy facilities, $5 million for the Keystone Home Energy Conservation Program, $25 million to promote the development of high performance green buildings and the use of up to $25 million to install pollution control equipment for small coal-fired power plants.
"Yesterday, our state lawmakers said 'yes' to good-paying jobs in the utility industry," said Paul Bachman, President of The Central PA Building Trades. "Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Chairman Bud George deserves special recognition for his efforts at building a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives."
"Today, the House took an important step towards protecting Pennsylvania jobs, Pennsylvania coal and Pennsylvania power producers," said George Ellis, President of the PA Coal Association. "This bipartisan show of support tells us that our lawmakers are serious about including clean coal technologies in our long term energy independence strategy."
The House defeated an amendment that would have earmarked $25 million a year for 10 years from the State Store Fund to support the programs, rather than financing an $850 million bond.
The bill will be in position for a final vote the week of March 10 when the House returns to Special Energy Session.
|Go To Preceding Article Go To Next Article|