RGGI Testimony-Phyllis Blumberg, Advocate for Climate Justice and Supporter of PA IPL

 I care deeply about combating climate change and the evidence from other states indicates that RGGI will help us do that in PA also. I am  writing as a concerned citizen who has seen the effects of severe weather and increasing respiratory problems in my family and neighborhood. My Jewish faith also compels me to act.

As a concerned citizen who wants to a healthy and safe environment not only for my children and grandchild, but for all people who are living now and not yet born, I prioritize protecting the environment and averting the effects of climate change over my own personal comfort and the desire to pay less money.

I personally invested in clean energy in my own lifestyle. Over ten years ago I retrofitted my 90 year- old house that had natural gas heat  to have geothermal HVAC just at the time when fracking caused the price of natural gas to sink. Two years ago I had solar panels installed on my roof and last year I bought a totally electric car. I did not make these changes to save money, but rather to save the environment and to protect the health for future generations.  Even if every American were to invest in clean energy, and I realized that many cannot afford to do so, yet it still would not be enough.  We need strong leadership from the PA government to move us to transition to a renewable and healthy future.

Pennsylvania  is one of the dirtiest power sectors in the nation. We  must  change that course and start reducing our carbon pollution. Joining RGGI will make our Commonwealth cleaner, more prosperous, and offer a better future for all. In addition to its climate and public health benefits, estimates show that RGGI would generate a net increase of many clean energy jobs and it will add billions to the state’s economy by 2030.  These funds can be used to improve the living conditions in underserved communities and communities of color in Pennsylvania  that need the help the most. By putting a price tag on pollution, RGGI incentivizes energy producers to turn away from fossil fuels, cut carbon, and create investments in clean energy.

It is concerned citizens like me and 90% of the citizens of PA who want clean air and to protect the environment. Only profit-hungry, polluting industry insiders who want to keep things as they are now because they stand to benefit from doing so, at a cost to all of us.

Ten other states are already been reaping the benefits of joining RGGI, and Pennsylvania can’t get left behind.  It’s time for Pennsylvania to tap into this record of success, invest in sustainable jobs in our flourishing clean energy sector, and reduce our carbon pollution.

In conclusion, I am testifying to explicitly state my support  for Pennsylvania joining of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  All the benefits I am advocating for are the direct result of PA joining RGGI!