Letters to the editor

Gov. Tom Wolf recently vetoed an effort by Republican legislators to block Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This is an 11-state, cap-and-trade program that would aim to cut overall carbon dioxide emissions in Pennsylvania by 26% by 2025 and 80% by 2050.

With one state climate projection showing that Pennsylvania could be an average of 6 degrees warmer by 2050, Wolf says that the time to get serious in this fight is now.

Pennsylvania’s addition to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative alone is projected to account for about 78 million tons of carbon emissions each year, which is slightly more than all of the first nine states combined. At the most recent prices, that could net Pennsylvania hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

The Wolf administration proposes that this money be split between helping businesses and homes become more energy-efficient; be highly targeted to help communities and workers in industries most hurt by the changing energy market dynamics; and help those who have been disadvantaged by past energy policies.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection modeling shows only small changes in employment and gross state product in the long term. Job losses in resource extraction would be offset by gains in construction of clean and renewable power production and the manufacturing to support it.

Republicans are striving to override the veto. Thus far, they do not have the votes. Contact your state legislators today and ask them not to override Wolf’s veto. The climate is at risk!

Alan Peterson, M.D.

Pequea Township

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