PA’s first climate act

    This week Governor Ed Rendell signed the Pennsylvania Climate Change act — the first bill is the state’s history to specifically address global warming. From WHYY’s health and science desk Kerry Grens reports.

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    With three dozen coal-fired plants, Pennsylvania is estimated to contribute one percent of the globe’s green house gas emissions. Legislators designed a five-part bill to begin to figure out how those emissions can be reduced — including an inventory of emissions, a report on their impact, and a registry for businesses that voluntarily make reductions. Democratic state representative Greg Vitali says this bill is a beginning step to mandating reductions.

    Vitali: “I think when we go through this process of, we will see that we need to do a lot more than we do. So my hope it is will be an impetus for the legislature to redouble our efforts to deal with the problem.”

    The bill does not require businesses or residents to cap emissions. Jan Jarrett, vice president of the environmental group Penn Future, says the bill does not resolve global warming, but includes steps to get there.

    Jarrett: “The state action plan is by far the most important part of the legislation. We’ve got to get down to the business of figuring out how we’re going to cut our greenhouse gas emissions, and that will be the core of it.”

    A stakeholder group will be convening this summer, and the action plan is expected within two years.

    More Info: Read the bill

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