Environmental Advocates at the State Capitol

Good Wednesday Morning, all.

State lawmakers and environmental advocates gathered in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday to share their plan to prioritize action on climate change and environmental justice ahead of the November election.

The group of more than 30 environmental advocacy organizations presented a plan, called “A Shared Vision for Pennsylvania’s Environment and Communities,” which they say will create jobs and protect families.

“Our Shared Vision advances the fight for justice in all forms — housing, economic, environmental, racial and social,” Diana Robinson civic engagement director at Make the Road Pennsylvania said. “By engaging and educating policymakers about the role they can play to create a better Pennsylvania for their constituents, we hope to create a healthier, more equitable and prosperous Commonwealth.”

The 30-page plan identifies policy solutions to several areas of environmental concern, including air quality and pollution, energy, water quality, labor, housing and land use, and democracy.

“Our Shared Vision broadens the tent of environmental advocacy to show how protecting our open space, improving our air and water quality and building a green energy economy will benefit every Pennsylvanian, from the biggest city to the most rural township,” Molly Parzen, executive director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, said.

The plan also states that proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state initiative to address climate change that the commonwealth joined in April, should be invested “in ways that lower energy costs for low-income families and create jobs in underserved communities.”

State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-Delaware, joined advocates at the Capitol on Tuesday, saying that legislators have “failed” to act on climate change.

“Today, in 2022, we absolutely have the resources and the opportunity to take bold legislative action that will not only preserve our environment, but that will foster innovation, protect our public health and position Pennsylvania as a leader in the clean energy space,” Cappelletti said. “We must only be brave enough to enact it.”

“We hope that candidates for governor and for the state Legislature will use this document as a guide in developing their platforms, and after they’re elected, that they will prioritize making these policy solutions a reality,” Jennifer Quinn, legislative and political director for the Pennsylvania Sierra Club said.