Frustrated by a lack of action from the Trump administration, Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday that Pennsylvania will join a bipartisan coalition of 24 American governors who are taking it on themselves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to uphold the principles of the scuppered Paris climate accords.
“With the federal government turning its back on science and the environment, I am proud to join with states that are leading the way towards new climate solutions, and taking concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Wolf said during a Capitol news conference, as he announced Pennsylvania’s entrance into the U.S. Climate Alliance. “States like Pennsylvania must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our communities, economies, infrastructures, and environments from the risks of a warming climate.”
Surrounded by Democratic allies in the state House and Senate, Wolf also rolled out a 100-point “Climate Action Plan,” that calls on elected leaders, businesses, and private citizens to come together to help reduce greenhouse emissions. By following just 15 of those recommendations, such as using renewable energy, Pennsylvania could reduce its greenhouse emissions by 21 percent by 2025, Wolf said.
“We know our planet is becoming warmer and we know we need to change course before it is too late,” Wolf said of addressing climate changes that have seen the state experience warmer temperatures and increased incidents of extreme weather. ” … This is a sobering reality and one that I take seriously.”
Legislative Democrats echoed Wolf’s sentiment, castigating the Trump White House for its foot-dragging on environmental issues and the administration’s decision to take the United States out of the Paris agreement. At a rally in Green Bay, Wisc. on Saturday, Trump stood by the decision, asking the crowd, “How’s Paris doing?” though it was not clear what he was referring to or what he meant.
On Monday, state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, said the state “can’t wait for Washington to take action” on climate change. “It’s important for us to step up and take action.” A bill now before the state Senate modernizing the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio for the first time since 2004 was a step in the right direction, Costa added.
“It’s important for us to step up and take action,” he said.