Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bill To Study Global Warming In Pennsylvania Passes PA Senate

Bill To Study Global Warming In Pennsylvania Passes Senate

By: Bradley Vasoli, The Bulletin



Harrisburg - Pennsylvania's Senate voted 47 to three to approve a bill sponsored by Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware) to study the probable extent and effects of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.


Senate Bill 266, the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act, would require the state Department of Environmental Protection to prepare a report on the subject, focusing particularly on the impact of climate change on forestry, hunting, fishing, farming, recreation and other commerce. Mr. Erickson's bill also calls for the department to complete a statewide inventory of carbon emissions to determine how much Pennsylvania's various industries contribute to the release of greenhouse gasses.

The department, and a newly formed climate change advisory committee, would then recommend alternative energy sources to reduce carbon emissions. The advisory committee will include appointees of the governor, the Senate leadership and the House leadership. The secretary of conservation and natural resources, the secretary of community and economic development and the chair of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will also have seats on the panel.

Mr. Erickson believes the members of the panel will present a broad range of opinions on the impacts of and worthwhile solutions to global warming. He welcomes that prospect.

"This measure brings together representatives of business, environmental groups, farmers and others to develop strategies for studying and responding to climate change," he said. "It provides a sound, science-based roadmap for action."

Voting against the measure were Sens. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) and Bob Regola (R-Westmoreland). None could be reached for comment.

Though global warming has roused considerable dispute in the policymaking and scientific communities, Mr. Erickson asserted confidently that the wisest course of action is to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

"Climate change is presenting a myriad of challenges as well as opportunities, and Pennsylvania must be prepared to deal with both," he said. "Senate Bill 266 provides the best framework to study climate change in Pennsylvania, and incorporate a diverse range of views that will allow the commonwealth to reduce greenhouse gases through cutting edge, jobs-producing technologies and innovative thinking."

©The Evening Bulletin 2007



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