Leading PA Environmental Advocates Endorse Josh Shapiro for Governor
Contact: Anthony Campisi
Pennsylvania’s leading environmental advocates issued a ringing endorsement of Josh Shapiro’s campaign for governor today, hailing his strong track record of holding corporate polluters accountable as well as his pledge to strengthen environmental protections to keep our communities safe while investing in clean, renewable energy to create good-paying union jobs.
The five advocacy groups highlighted Shapiro’s strong track record as Pennsylvania attorney general, where he has led fights to protect Pennsylvanians’ constitutional rights to clean air and pure water by cracking down on polluters and on filing multiple lawsuits against efforts by former President Donald Trump to weaken critically important environmental protections.
“We are excited to announce this historic endorsement of Josh Shapiro, a candidate with a long and proven track record of environmental protection and an exciting platform that will power Pennsylvania into the 21st century with a sustainable green energy economy,” said Katie Blume, Political Director for Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “He stands head and shoulders above the Republican candidates, who threaten to roll back environmental protections and double down on the failed environmental policies of the past. At a time when our planet is in crisis, we need a proven leader with the vision to create a more prosperous future for Pennsylvania families by protecting our clean air, pure water and open space.”
Along with Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, Shapiro was endorsed by the National Wildlife Foundation Action Fund, PennEnvironment, the Clean Air Action Fund and Clean Water Action.
“We need to take real action to address climate change, protect and create energy jobs, and ensure Pennsylvanians have reliable, affordable, and clean power for the long term. I refuse to accept the false choice between protecting jobs or protecting our planet – we must do both and we will when I’m Governor,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Throughout my entire career, I have worked to defend Pennsylvanians’ constitutional right to clean air and pure water – and I’m honored and humbled to have the support of so many leading advocates for Pennsylvania’s environment in my campaign.”
As attorney general, Shapiro led efforts to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for water contamination and public health violations, announcing dozens of criminal charges against pipeline developers after a two-year grand jury investigation.
At the same time, he joined other states in fighting Trump’s efforts to weaken federal oversight and successfully forced the federal government to follow the law and protect Pennsylvanians by controlling emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas emission.
On the campaign trail, Shapiro has drawn a stark contrast with his Republican opponents by campaigning on a platform that focuses on protecting the air Pennsylvanians breathe and the water families drink, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable.
At a time when Pennsylvania continues to grapple with aging housing and water infrastructure that is causing lead contamination of our drinking water and elevated blood lead levels in our children, Shapiro has pledged to tackle the lead crisis by stepping up testing and investing in replacing aging lead pipes, especially in urban schools as well as low-income and communities of color.
"Pennsylvania relies on clean waterways not just for drinking water but also for our outdoor tourism and recreational industry which contribute billions to our economy,” said Steve Hvozdovich, Pennsylvania Campaign Director of Clean Water Action. “That's why we need someone like Josh Shapiro who has a track record of making our environment a priority and a plan for tackling the ongoing threats to our water resources. Clean Water Action is proud to endorse his candidacy for Governor of Pennsylvania. The best choice for Pennsylvania's environmental future also becomes that much clearer when you consider the other candidates in the field don't even acknowledge these threats.”
Shapiro has also pledged to make Pennsylvania a leader in tackling the climate crisis by dramatically increasing the production of clean and renewable energy while also turbocharging the state’s energy efficiency programs to lower costs for local businesses and working families. Shapiro has pledged to achieve net-zero climate emissions by 2050.
"The people of Pennsylvania face numerous threats to our fundamental rights and public natural resources,” said Joseph Otis Minott, President of the Clean Air Action Fund. “The Commonwealth needs a leader like Josh Shapiro, who will fight to protect Pennsylvania’s environment and the health of our people and communities. As Attorney General, Josh Shapiro has shown leadership by investigating fracking and pipeline companies and holding them accountable. Josh Shapiro is the only candidate in this race committed to decarbonizing our economy equitably. Frankly, he is the only candidate whose platform won’t take Pennsylvania radically backwards in the fight against climate change. As Governor, Josh Shapiro will continue to stand up to big polluters and do what is necessary to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, including low-income communities and communities of color, which are disproportionately impacted by pollution and a changing climate. Clean Air Action Fund is excited to support and endorse Josh Shapiro to become the 48th Governor of Pennsylvania."
Advocates also touted Shapiro’s track record in advocating for funding to expand public transit and his promise to invest in electric vehicles to provide reliable and clean 21st century transportation options that will reduce climate pollution and address air quality issues that plague regions like the Lehigh Valley.
“Pennsylvanians deserve clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, real climate solutions and our natural heritage protected for generations to come. We’re proud to endorse Josh Shapiro to champion these values as Governor,” added Stephanie Wein, Clean Water & Conservation Advocate at PennEnvironment. “His record on the environment as a legislator and as Attorney General are clear, and we know as Governor. We’re confident he’ll not only continue to defend our environment from polluters, but to invest in the clean energy and 21st century public transportation & electric vehicle infrastructure Pennsylvania needs.”
Standing in Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, the commonwealth’s official arboretum, environmental advocates also hailed Shapiro’s promise to protect green space and increase tourism by addressing a long backlog of projects at Pennsylvania’s state, county and local parks through investments in the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Undergirding Shapiro’s entire environmental platform is a focus on using investments in environmental protection to create family sustaining union jobs. From installing new solar panels to replacing aging lead water pipes, Shapiro’s plan would grow Pennsylvania’s economy by expanding opportunities and making our commonwealth more economically competitive.
“Pennsylvania’s perfectly positioned to play a leading role in the innovation and deployment of clean energy and carbon management solutions that lift up all communities and create and sustain good-paying jobs. Attorney General Joh Shapiro has demonstrated his commitment to this approach in his campaign and throughout his long career of service to the people of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund. “When Josh is elected, the people of Pennsylvania and its irreplaceable wildlife will have an ally and champion in the governor’s office. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been fortunate to have Josh among its leaders, and we are proud to endorse him to serve as Pennsylvania’s next governor.”
By contrast, Shapiro’s Republican opponents have pledged to eviscerate Pennsylvania’s environmental protections in a massive corporate giveaway to the oil and gas industry at the expense of working families.
“While the other candidates in this race have been falling over themselves in their efforts to cater to powerful corporate interests, Attorney General Shapiro stands on the side of working families by promising to hold polluters accountable and create 21st century jobs by investing in Pennsylvania’s future,” Blume said. “At this critical point in Pennsylvania’s history, we are prepared to bring our collective power to bear to elect an environmental champion to the Governor’s Office. We look forward to educating the public and turning out our members on election day to ensure that Josh Shapiro is elected the next governor of Pennsylvania.”