State governments are beginning to dismantle green energy sector, cutting green jobs as they focus on shale gas boom
The Corbett administration is de-emphasizing renewable energy and energy conservation, eliminating programs created by previous Democratic and Republican administrations as it focuses on natural gas energy from booming Marcellus Shale.
Quietly but systematically, the administration has all but shut down the state Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Energy and Technology Deployment -- the state's primary energy office -- and removed directors and reassigned staff in the Office of Energy Management in the Department of General Services and the Governor's Green Government Council.
It has also forbidden state executive agencies from signing contracts that support clean energy supply.
GWPF tells of a quote from Jan Jarrett, president and chief executive officer of Penn Future. "In the past 12 years, Pennsylvania has gone from having virtually no clean energy jobs to employing more than 106,000 Pennsylvanians in the clean energy industry, despite the national recession. These program cuts and legislative attacks threaten to kill those good, family-sustaining jobs."
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 14 August 2011
Pennsylvania is not the only state reassessing or reducing sustainable energy, energy conservation and renewables portfolio standards policy. Governors and legislators have voiced similar concerns in Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, according to the Pew Research Center.
Ms. Simeone, director of PennFuture's Energy Center and formerly the special assistant for energy and climate at DEP, said changes in policy priorities could be expected because the 2010 election resulted in widespread state government leadership changes, but it doesn't make sense to pull support from renewable and sustainable energy sources when the rest of the world is turning toward them.
"Around the world countries are realizing there needs to be a mix of fossil and sustainable energy and unless we continue to diversify we will be left in the dust," Ms. Simeone said.