Pennsylvania Environmental Leaders Praise Governor Shapiro’s Commonsense Energy Plan: “Ensures That Pennsylvania Is Once Again Helping Lead the U.S. Into the Future of Energy Development”

Harrisburg, PA – This week, Governor Josh Shapiro unveiled his new, commonsense energy plan for Pennsylvania, kicking off a new era of energy leadership to create nearly 15,000 energy jobs, lower electricity costs for Pennsylvanians, take real action to address climate change, and maintain Pennsylvania’s energy independence.

Since the announcement, industry, labor, and government leaders have all praised the Governor’s commitment to bringing people together to craft a commonsense plan to build on Pennsylvania’s long legacy of energy leadership by protecting and creating energy jobs and lowering electricity costs for consumers. On top of that, environmental leaders from across the Commonwealth and country have joined the broad coalition supporting Governor Shapiro’s plan.

For more information on Governor Shapiro’s plan, visit


Read what environmental leaders are saying about Governor Shapiro’s plan to create thousands of energy jobs, lower costs, and ensure Pennsylvania remains an energy leader below.

Jackson Morris, Director, State Power Sector Policy, Climate & Energy at the National Resources Defense Council; Co-Chair of the Governor’s Working Group: “Today we’re really excited to talk a little bit about this package that is put forward – I think it is nation-leading and can deliver a lot of promise for Pennsylvania. With Governor Shapiro’s leadership on a bold carbon cap and invest program for the power sector along the lines of PACER, coupled with a recharged and ramped up clean energy standard along the lines of PRESS – we can make Pennsylvania a national leader on clean energy while creating a vibrant and equitable clean energy economy right here in the Commonwealth. As we’ve heard the Governor say: inaction is simply no longer an option. We can and must forge a path forward together that tackles climate change, protects consumers, and creates family- sustaining jobs. We are also open and eager to explore alternative approaches, such as what’s envisioned in the PACER legislation, that can deliver comparable emissions reductions, while generating vital funding to reinvest in communities across the state. We look forward to working with the Governor, the legislature, and the diverse stakeholders you’ve heard from today to pursue that possibility. We – labor, environmentalists, and consumer interests – are all in this together. Because if we don’t act now, Pennsylvania will be left behind. We need the legislature to act for Pennsylvania’s energy jobs and to ensure our energy is clean and affordable. And done right, Pennsylvania could be the first and only major net exporter of increasingly clean electricity in the nation that also has a bold carbon cap and invest program on the books.”


David Masur, PennEnvironment Executive Director; member of the Governor’s Working Group: “Climate change is the existential crisis of our lifetime, and Gov. Shapiro’s announcement today is a one-two punch that will both dramatically reduce Pennsylvania’s carbon footprint and promote much-needed clean energy solutions like solar and wind. This is a critical step in the right direction.

“For far too long, Pennsylvania has been a large part of the climate problem, currently ranking fourth worst in the nation for our global warming pollution. Getting today’s proposals by Gov. Shapiro over the finish line in the state legislature would pivot Pennsylvania from being a climate chump, into being a climate champ.

“We applaud Gov. Shapiro for fighting to tackle climate pollution through his defense of the RGGI program in the state courts and through his effort to put forth similar legislative solutions today. By having multiple irons in the fire, he’s sending a clear message to the Pennsylvania legislature that we must act to address climate change, and act quickly.

“The governor and environmental champions in the Pennsylvania General Assembly have put forth a number of commonsense proposals to address the climate crisis. The time for the legislature to act is now.”


Pennsylvania Environmental Council President Tom Gilbert: “PEC commends Governor Shapiro for today’s announcement on his new PRESS proposal to expand our state’s outdated Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards. PEC has long advocated for enhanced requirements in a clean energy standard that would not only increase renewable deployment in our Commonwealth, but also include emerging and homegrown clean energy technologies like advanced nuclear and geothermal. Other states near and far are surpassing the Commonwealth in attracting clean energy generation, manufacturing, and investment, as well as achieving better grid diversification. They also have established requirements that will jeopardize our continued status as an energy exporter unless we proactively enact policies to help drive decarbonization of our electricity generation. The PRESS proposal is a strong start toward that end.

“The Governor’s PACER proposal reflects the conclusion of his working group (on which PEC served) that a cap-and-invest program is the most effective and efficient way to reduce emissions from the power sector. We remain certain that this is the optimal strategy to reduce emissions, benefit consumers, and create new energy jobs. PEC supports Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and we are hopeful that the PACER proposal can advance meaningful dialogue with the General Assembly to advance these shared goals.

“The clean energy transition can bring tremendous benefits to Pennsylvania’s economy, communities, and environment. We applaud the Governor’s efforts to lead us to a healthier,  prosperous clean energy future.”


Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Executive Director Molly Parzen: “We applaud Governor Shapiro for his announcement today of a strong Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard that would put Pennsylvania back in the game to lead on clean energy. This proposal fulfills a critical campaign promise and will help Pennsylvania leverage billions of dollars of federal investment through President Biden’s affordable clean energy law to help families lower their energy bills while creating union jobs. Passing this legislation is essential to ensure that Pennsylvania is able to successfully compete for the clean energy jobs of the future. We must not lose momentum as other states and nations lead in growing clean energy industries like wind and solar. We’re calling on swift action from the legislature to make this proposal a reality.”


Evergreen Action State Program Director Justin Balik: “Today’s announcement is a promising first step to significantly scale up clean energy in the Commonwealth and we look forward to Governor Shapiro’s continued efforts in securing Pennsylvania’s leadership in the rapidly growing clean energy economy.

“In 2022, Pennsylvania only generated 3 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and 35 percent from carbon-free sources. Under this new proposal, the Commonwealth would likely increase those totals to at least 40 percent and 70 percent, respectively, by 2035. Achieving these proposed standards would not only slash emissions but also catalyze an economic boom in the state. Building out the necessary infrastructure to meet these targets will create new jobs, capture federal tax credits from the IRA, and lower energy costs for Pennsylvania consumers and businesses. 

“It’s imperative that this proposal advances in the legislature without delay. Otherwise, Pennsylvania is at risk of being left behind. Building out more clean energy will be essential for Pennsylvania to keep up with the other states in the region that are already quickly overtaking the Commonwealth in maximizing federal funds, growing their clean energy economies, and creating well-paying jobs in their communities.”


Nick Bibby, Pennsylvania State Lead for Advanced Energy United: “Gov. Shapiro’s proposal should help jump start conversations in Harrisburg about how best to bring clean energy’s massive economic and jobs benefits to Pennsylvania. Advanced Energy United applauds Gov. Shapiro for issuing his proposal, and we look forward to working with his administration and legislators to ensure Pennsylvania enacts a policy that works for deploying clean energy in the Commonwealth.”


Evan Vaughan, Executive Director, MAREC Action: “MAREC Action, and our member companies building and operating grid-scale solar, wind and storage projects, applaud Governor Shapiro’s plan — it starts a real conversation about Pennsylvania’s energy future. A 35% clean and renewable energy by 2035 requirement will maximize deployment of new energy sources while maintaining a strong foundation of legacy energy industries—ensuring the Commonwealth can meet the challenge of rising electricity demand and that Pennsylvanians benefit from a balanced, resilient and clean energy mix for years to come.”


Sharon Pillar, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Solar Center: “The Pennsylvania Solar Center is encouraged by the Governor’s announcement to meet his campaign promise to increase investment in clean energy. This policy will increase the adoption of solar, which will help businesses hire more workers, schools to keep teachers, and nonprofits to do more to serve their communities.”


Ron Celentano, President, Pennsylvania Solar & Storage Industries Association (PASSIA): “Our industry looks forward to increasing the market penetration of solar and other renewable energy resources in Pennsylvania, per Gov. Shapiro’s announcement of these targeted goals, proposing 35% renewables by 2035, as it will push Pennsylvania a little closer to our neighboring states.”


Moira Cyphers, Director of Eastern State Affairs for American Clean Power (ACP): “Governor Shapiro’s proposal of 35% electricity from clean energy by 2035 ensures that Pennsylvania is once again helping lead the U.S. into the future of energy development. The clean energy industry is booming, creating incredible economic opportunities, reviving American manufacturing, and delivering jobs to local communities. The implementation of this policy would allow Pennsylvanians to enjoy these benefits for decades to come. We look forward to working with Governor Shapiro’s administration and the legislature for this plan to help maximize the Commonwealth’s clean energy future.”  


Kate Courtin, Senior Manager for State Climate Policy & Strategy at Environmental Defense Fund: “We thank Governor Josh Shapiro for creating the opportunity for the Pennsylvania legislature to step up on climate – particularly to curb harmful pollution from the state’s power plants and take meaningful steps forward to deploy more clean electricity across the state. Today’s climate and clean energy legislative proposals are an important step in furthering the dialogue on how the State can limit climate pollution, better position Pennsylvania to compete in the growing clean energy economy, and secure healthier communities.

“The Governor’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) working group found that a cap-and-invest program is the most effective and efficient way to reduce power sector pollution and invest in the Commonwealth’s energy transition. RGGI remains a proven and effective approach to implement this type of program and EDF strongly supports Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI as a core part of the State’s climate plan. We are hopeful that the PACER proposal can advance a conversation with the General Assembly on the best path forward for the State to limit power sector carbon pollution.

“We encourage legislators in both caucuses to engage in dialogue on a serious cap-and-invest program that limits power sector emissions in line with state and national climate goals, creates sustainable job growth, benefits consumers, and ensures the Commonwealth is ready to compete in the new economy.”


Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter Director Tom Schuster: “Pennsylvania has fallen woefully behind in clean energy development to the detriment of our air, water, and climate. The introduction of PRESS is such an important step that will begin to put Pennsylvania back on track to meeting our climate and clean energy goals and is a critical complement to a robust cap and invest program for climate pollution from the power sector.

“The Sierra Club thanks Governor Shapiro for proposing what would be the largest increase of renewable energy in our Commonwealth’s history. This package isn’t perfect and still includes some dirtier energy sources, but we can’t wait for perfection. We look forward to working with the Administration and the General Assembly to secure the cleanest, most equitable, and most cost-effective policy possible so that we can once again lead the way in clean energy production.”


Carolyn Heckman, PA Policy and Outreach Coordinator for EEN Action: “Evangelicals thank Governor Shapiro for taking this important step toward a safe and healthy future for all generations. In Mark 12, the Bible tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Solutions like the PACER Act and PRESS allow us to better defend the health and wellbeing of our neighbors, and especially our children, by unleashing clean, reliable energy in Pennsylvania. Today’s announcement is not only smart but popular. Over the last two years, more than 80,000 Christians in Pennsylvania have urged Governor Shapiro to support a cap-and-trade program like RGGI, and over 22,000 Pennsylvanians and counting have given their support for an expanded Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). These policies will deliver economic benefits to Pennsylvania ratepayers, low-income communities, and workers while cutting harmful pollution that negatively impacts the hearts, minds, and lungs of our children. We look forward to working with Governor Shapiro to make these bills as strong as possible to defend the lives and health of Pennsylvania’s children. We urge the legislature to come together around these policies to ensure Pennsylvania remains a leader in the clean energy future.”


Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance Executive Director Jeaneen Zappa: “We commend Governor Shapiro for introducing PRESS and PACER today. Pennsylvania needs both a strong clean energy portfolio standard and a cap-and-invest program. Both will work together to lower greenhouse gas emissions, create energy jobs, and provide reliable, affordable energy to consumers.

“Governor Shapiro’s PRESS proposal is an important step towards bringing more clean energy and energy efficiency business to the Commonwealth. PRESS will require electric distribution companies to source 35% of the electricity they sell from renewable sources, by means of alternative energy credits, by 2035. In addition, 10% must be sourced from ‘tier 2’ resources, including efficiency measures such as demand response. Including efficiency in PRESS incentivizes efficiency improvements that benefit consumers throughout the state.

“We look forward to working through the legislative details of the PRESS proposal, including complementary consumer protections that ensure the clean energy transition works for all residents of Pennsylvania.”

“Pennsylvania needs a cap-and-invest system that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power generation and generate clean energy investment funds. Governor Shapiro’s working group identified this strategy as the right path for Pennsylvania last year. The proposed PACER Program is a cap-and-invest system.

“While KEEA maintains that participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is the simplest and most effective way to achieve the governor’s three-part test, we are open to an alternative that meets or exceeds the benefits Pennsylvania would accrue from participating in RGGI. A cap-and-invest strategy remains one of the best routes for supporting the Commonwealth’s vital energy efficiency industry, which employs nearly 70,000 Pennsylvanians and creates energy savings every day.

“We appreciate Governor Shapiro’s commitment to pollution reduction, job creation, consumer protection, and community investment demonstrated through PRESS and PACER. We call on the legislature to work with the governor to achieve those goals.”


Clean Air Council Executive Director Alex Bomstein: “We are enthused that Governor Shapiro is giving long overdue attention to our right to a healthy environment. PACER and PRESS demonstrate the Governor’s commitment to putting Pennsylvanians first. The Governor is taking a critically needed step to increase renewables in the Commonwealth’s energy mix through PRESS, growing the clean energy market, improving energy reliability, and reducing air pollution. We are optimistic that with robust community input, the final version of PRESS will boost only true renewable energy such as wind and solar. And while we still view RGGI as the best power sector cap-and-invest program for Pennsylvania, we are excited to work with the Governor and the legislature on PACER to realize the greatest possible benefits for Pennsylvania residents, ratepayers, and workers alike.”

Clean Power PA Coalition: “Governor Shapiro is showing strong leadership in proposing common-sense standards for increasing the share of clean, renewable energy that utilities will provide to power Pennsylvania homes and businesses.

“Only 3% of Pennsylvania’s energy comes from clean, renewable sources, putting us 45th in the country and behind nearly all our neighbors. The Commonwealth needs to diversify how it generates electricity by expanding clean, renewable energy to give Pennsylvania consumers more affordable and reliable electricity.

“Governor Shapiro’s Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard (PRESS) can do that. The plan will create a better, more diverse, and more reliable balance of energy sources, ensuring the state is no longer relying so heavily on dirty, expensive energy. PRESS can maintain Pennsylvania’s historic role as an energy leader, this time leading on clean energy. We pledge to work with the governor and the legislature to approve the strongest and most equitable energy standard possible; one that will create new jobs, make our air cleaner, and put us on a path toward lower utility bills for Pennsylvania families and small businesses after years of volatile gas and electric bills.

“Governor Shapiro’s Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction (PACER) proposal to explore a market-based state cap-and-invest program demonstrates his continued commitment to reduce greenhouse gas pollution while generating revenue to support the Commonwealth’s energy transition.

“We continue to support the governor’s objective to put in place a cap-and-invest program that meets his three-part test to (1) protect and create energy jobs; (2) take real action to address climate change; and (3) ensure reliable, affordable power for consumers in the long term.

“While we continue to believe RGGI is the best approach to meet that test and are pleased that the governor is continuing to defend the current RGGI rule before the courts, we are open to exploring with the governor and the legislature other cap-and-invest options that would meet or exceed the benefits of Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI. As the governor has noted, doing nothing is not an option. It is time for those in the legislature who continually create obstacles to RGGI and other measures to come to the table to help put an effective solution in place.

“The bottom line is that Pennsylvania needs both a strong renewable energy standard and an effective carbon cap-and-invest program if we want to clean our air, create new jobs, hold down consumers’ utility bills, and make our electrical grid more reliable. We appreciate the governor’s commitment to both.”

Climate Power Interim States Managing Director André Crombie: “These plans will create new jobs, lower utility costs for families, and ensure cleaner and healthier air for everyone to breathe. Governor Shapiro is demonstrating much-needed leadership on climate by proposing common-sense standards to curb pollution. Climate Power applauds this critical step to increase renewable energy generation in the Commonwealth.”

The Nature Conservancy: “The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is encouraged by Governor Shapiro’s announcement of two new energy policy proposals for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a leading electricity producer and the largest power exporter in the U.S. We are also a leading source of the emissions that cause climate change. Our commonwealth must take aggressive steps to cap and reduce our emissions. PACER and PRESS provide options to achieve those aims.

The proposed revision to our now antiquated and uncompetitive portfolio standard through PRESS presents a promising pathway for reducing carbon emissions while providing Pennsylvanians the opportunity to have a prosperous, clean energy future. By including a more comprehensive range of clean energy technologies in PRESS — such as advanced nuclear — we can create more opportunities to balance the urgent need for rapid deployment of carbon-free energy with the need to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s resilient landscapes for nature and people.

The Nature Conservancy has long supported our commonwealth’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as a proven and effective vehicle for capping and reducing emissions and making targeted investments in energy communities in Pennsylvania. Yesterday’s announcement of the PACER proposal presents another market-based option to cap and reduce Pennsylvania’s significant power-sector emissions while investing in jobs and families. We encourage stakeholders and the Pennsylvania General Assembly to work together to implement policy to cap our power sector emissions.

We echo Governor Shapiro, labor leaders, and climate advocates: Doing nothing is not an option.”


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