HARRISBURG − October 3, 2019 − State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and state Representative Steve McCarter (D-154), co-chairs of the bipartisan, bicameral Climate Caucus, along with vice-chair state Representative Carolyn Comitta (D-156) offered praise for Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Order this morning instructing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a cooperative effort among nine states to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through regulation or legislation.
“Pennsylvania joining RGGI allows yet another avenue for Pennsylvania to combat climate change while promoting economic innovation throughout the Commonwealth,” said Sen. Santarsiero.
“In recent years, Pennsylvania has been seriously outpaced by stronger energy standards in neighboring states like Maryland, which is already a RGGI member, and New Jersey, which soon will be,” said Rep. McCarter. “Joining RGGI is an important step in reducing our CO2 emissions, improving our energy profile, spurring innovation in the clean energy economy and creating green jobs.”
“I applaud Governor Wolf for his leadership,” said Rep. Comitta. “We must take strong action to stop climate change and shape a healthy future for our children. Joining RGGI, positions Pennsylvania to protect our children’s future while strengthening our economy.”
The states currently participating in the RGGI program have reduced power sector CO2 pollution by 45% since its launch in 2005, while the per-capita gross domestic product of the region continues to rise.
Senator Santarsiero joined Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. (D-43) in sponsoring SB 15, a legislative option for Pennsylvania to participate in RGGI. Reps. McCarter and Comitta have sponsored companion legislation in the House.
“Additionally, it is my hope that the Environmental Quality Board would require a portion of the profit gained following Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI to go to supporting renewable energy technology in the Commonwealth,” Sen. Santarsiero continued. “My bi-partisan legislation, SB 600, would expand the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (AEPS) and set Pennsylvania’s renewable energy standard to 30% by 2030. It’s vitally important that we incentivize true renewables, especially solar. This legislation, when paired with RGGI, will create a more sustainable Pennsylvania for future generations, while allowing the Commonwealth to grow economically.”
“Here in Pennsylvania and across the globe, every industry, every project and every sector will be impacted by climate change,” said Rep. McCarter, who also sponsored, with Rep. Comitta, companion legislation in the House to expand the AEPS Act. “It will require our creativity and dedication to assure communities and workers impacted that they will not be left behind to suffer the ravages of change while others benefit. This is a challenge the commonwealth took further steps to meet today.”
A link to Senator Santarsiero’s legislation, SB 600, can be found here.
A link to Representatives McCarter and Comitta’s legislation, HB 1195, can be found here.
A link to Governor Wolf’s Executive Order can be found here.
Sen. Santarsiero has district offices in Doylestown and Newtown and can be reached via email at SenatorSantarsiero@pasenate.com. Visit the district website at www.senatorstevesantarsiero.com.
Rep. McCarter’s district office is in Glenside. He can be reached via email at RepMcCarter@pahouse.net. Visit the district website at www.pahouse.com/McCarter.
Rep. Comitta’s district office is in West Chester. She can be reached via email at email@example.com. Visit the district website at https://www.pahouse.com/Comitta.
DOYLESTOWN − August 1, 2019 − State Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Robert Tomlinson (R-6), with state Representatives Wendy Ullman (D-143) and John Galloway (D-140), announced the award of a $2,000,000 state grant for the YMCA of Bucks County through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. The project includes two capital renovations in Doylestown and Fairless Hills.
The Doylestown YMCA branch construction project is a 25,000 square foot expansion that will include a universal locker room with private showers and changing areas for adults with special needs, families with young children and others who require more privacy, and a wellness center expansion and program space that will accommodate donor-supported wellness programs for veterans, cancer patients, pre-diabetics, young people, and more.
The Fairless Hills YMCA branch construction project is a 48,000 square foot complete renovation that will redesign the existing facility including a swimming pool, gymnasium, welcome center, group exercise studios, classrooms, wellness center, and administrative offices.
“I supported the RACP grant request because the YMCA of Bucks County provides residents across our community the ability to grow as individuals and develop lasting connections with their neighbors. I’m especially proud to have the Doylestown YMCA within my district,” Sen. Santarsiero said. “This grant will allow the Doylestown and Fairless Hills facilities to expand upon the exceptional services our community has come to expect from Bucks YMCA staff and volunteers. The YMCA of Bucks truly benefits all residents of Bucks County. That is why I will continue to work closely with my Bucks County colleagues in the state House and Senate – who joined me in supporting the grant for this important project – in discovering other opportunities to support the YMCA of Bucks County.”
“Thank you, Governor Wolf, for releasing these funds to support the development of a beloved community center, the YMCA of Bucks County,” Rep. Wendy Ullman said. “The YMCA provides valuable services to our local community. Helping the YMCA expand its services will ensure the organization can continue its important work.”
“The Fairless Hills YMCA is one of the most respected institutions in Bucks County,” Rep. Galloway said. “This grant will be a tremendous boost to the critically important work being done on behalf of our community.”
“We are so grateful to Governor Tom Wolf, Senators Tomlinson and Santarsiero, and State Representatives from throughout Bucks County for their support,” said Zane Moore, President/CEO of YMCA of Bucks County. “This grant will enable our Y to complete significant capital renovations ensuring we can continue to positively impact the health and wellness of our community and provide programs that benefit special populations.”
RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.
To learn more about RACP projects and grants, visit the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget website.