Last week, Rendell announced an $850 million program for energy efficiency, increases in clean energy like homegrown biofuels, and cuts to global warming pollution. The Governor told reporters at a news conference,
"We need to keep those dollars at home and put our people to work building the state's energy independent future."Named the "Energy Independence Strategy," the biofuels plan alone would set a target of producing about 1 billion gallons of biodiesel and ethanol by 2017 - roughly the same amount of fuel that PA has to import now. If the legislature approves the plan, PA would be one of the leading biodiesel producers in the country.
Other policies include incentives for consumers to change out old-fashioned refrigerators and air conditioners for more efficient models, and rebates and grants that would pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of installing solar panels on a home or small business. The plan would also have 5 million homes powered by wind or solar within 10 years. According to the Governor,
Through efficiency and renewables, PA would avoid having to build five nuclear or dirty coal-fired power plants that would cost around $10 billion.
The plan is expected to have broad support in the legislature and pass without a strong fight. What's more: Rendell said we would present another plan to tackle global warming in the next 90 days.
Photo credit: Commonwealth Media Services