Contact: Anthony Campisi
CVPA lauds Shapiro commitment to the environment in budget proposal
Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Executive Director Molly Parzen has issued the following statement in response to Governor Shapiro’s budget address:
We are pleased that Governor Shapiro is calling for continued investments in clean transportation, conservation, and healthy homes in his proposed budget. At a time when our commonwealth is confronting the increasing impacts of climate change, it’s more important than ever to double down on programs that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and our open spaces.
We want to especially commend Governor Shapiro for his focus on investing in public transit, his efforts to replace lead service lines that threaten the health and safety of our families, his focus on investing in climate smart agricultural practices, and a substantial re-investment in the Whole Home Repairs program to help vulnerable Pennsylvanians. We look forward to working with Governor Shapiro and the legislature to ensure that all of these needed investments are included in this year’s budget.
Additionally, the funding increases the governor is proposing for the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources will help hold polluters accountable, improve the health and safety of our communities and expand recreation opportunities for Pennsylvania families.
While this spending proposal is a start, we look forward to working with Governor Shapiro and our partners in the legislature to expand investments in key programs that create union jobs and bring economic prosperity to our communities while tackling climate change. Chief among these programs is the state’s effort to cap abandoned oil and gas wells. While Governor Shapiro’s proposal of $11 million for this purpose is a good first step, we’re asking for $50 million to be included in this year’s budget to allow us to further leverage funds available through the bipartisan federal infrastructure law.
And as Governor Shapiro sits down with lawmakers to negotiate next year’s state spending package, we’re calling on him to prioritize passage of Solar for Schools legislation as part of the state budget process. This bipartisan legislation would create union jobs, improve air quality and lower costs for taxpayers by leveraging money made available through President Biden’s Affordable Clean Energy Plan to expand our school district’s ability to power classrooms using clean solar energy.
We know that the governor’s budget address is just the first step in a long and complicated process, and we look forward to working with Governor Shapiro and our partners in the legislature to produce a final spending agreement that invests in environmental protection, curbs carbon pollution and prepares Pennsylvania to compete in a 21st century clean energy economy that moves us away from fossil fuels.