Fri, 27 June 2008
In early June 2008, PennFuture together with PennEnvironment, Clean Air Council, and many Pennsylvania renewable energy and energy conservation businesses that endorsed the Campaign for Great Green Jobs gathered in Harrisburg to meet directly with legislators about the need for swift passage of critical energy legislation. In all, about 100 people participated in this lobby day for the environment. Midday, a press event featuring representatives from many participating organizations and legislators from both sides of the political aisle, together with Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty, drew television coverage and drove home the need for action in the Pennsylvania Senate.
In this podcast, PennFuture's Jan Jarrett talks with a few of the PennFuture members who took the day to travel to the Capitol to educate their elected officials. We hear from Stephanie (Wyoming, PA); Ricke (Thornhurst, PA); Sr. Constance (Dallas, PA); and Bev and Wally (Bear Creek, PA) about why each of them felt it was so important to make the trip. Each had a different perspective, but all agreed that it is essential for citizens to be informed and involved in the political process to help shape positive outcomes for the future. And the consensus was overwhelming: it was worth the trip and the time, and they'd do it again! Like we always say, citizen action really does work.
In the final days of the legislative session before the summer recess, you too can play a role in shaping the way we make and use energy in Pennsylvania. Take a few minutes to get up to speed on what's at stake and what's at play on our Campaign for Great Green Jobs page, and then don't delay-- take action using our action center.
We welcome your comments. Simply send us an e-mail, or click on "Comments" below.
Fri, 6 June 2008
In May 2008, PennFuture hosted our first conference on global warming to be held in northeastern Pennsylvania at the University of Scranton. U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. opened the conference as the keynote speaker.
In this podcast, PennFuture's president and CEO John Hanger introduces Senator Casey at the event. Senator Casey talks about his work and the current state of affairs in Washington on global warming. This is particularly timely since the Senate began the week of June 2 to debate the Climate Security Act (S. 3036, formerly S. 2191), sponsored by Senators Lieberman and Warner. Senator Casey is a co-sponsor. This marks the first time that the U.S. Congress has seriously begun to consider federal legislation on climate change.
In his address, Senator Casey said that we simply must enact legislation to slow, stop, and reduce the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. He became particularly concerned about the rising occurrence of drought through the world, noting that drought leads to death and darkness in many corners of the globe, and that if you know nothing else about climate change, that should be enough to convince you to take action. You can learn more about the Pennsylvania- and northeast U.S.-specific impacts of climate change from a recent report by Union of Concerned Scientists.
Senator Casey mentions his concerns for workers in manufacturing states like Pennsylvania, and has worked with Senator Barbara Boxer (chair of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee) to ensure that this legislation if passed will takes care of workers. Senator Casey's amendment would create a fund for workers that would cover any needed wage replacement, health care coverage, and job training for the thousands of new, green family-sustaining jobs that will emerge from enacting climate change legislation.
Senator Casey expressed how difficult it is to adequately summarize the widespread, devastating impacts of global warming in the U.S. and throughout the world. But he says it is obvious that we must reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases that are causing global warming, but at the same time, we need to embrace the good-paying jobs of the future that will come from those reductions, and commit to helping other nations do the same. As he said, this is a very simple question: "What did you do when you had the power?" Senator Casey feels a responsibility to act now on climate change, and to mobilize, because the future won't wait.
Please get involved: urge the federal government to pass this or stronger legislation as soon as possible. There are also many opportunities at the state level, including passing landmark legislation to change how Pennsylvania makes and uses energy, significantly cutting our contributions to global warming.
As always, we welcome your comments. Simply e-mail us, or click on "Comments" below.