Climate Change

Tom knows we need to remove the politics from the discussion about climate change and global warming. We need to take action so that future generations have access to fresh air and clean water, and have the opportunity to explore and enjoy Pennsylvania's natural beauty.

As governor, Tom will promote policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy alternatives, and invest in green energy technology and infrastructure. Additionally, Tom will appoint qualified individuals to lead the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources who will be responsible for proactively addressing climate change and promoting policies that are in the best interest of current and future residents -- not special interests.

Specifically, Tom will:

  • Expand the use of Clean Energy -- Tom will work to make Pennsylvania a national leader in the development of clean energy sources. Within his first year in office, Tom will introduce legislation expanding Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards and restoring some funding for the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. 
  • Accelerate Investment in Energy Efficiency Retrofits -- Tom wants to accelerate new investments in Pennsylvania in energy efficiency retrofits of commercial and residential real estate by engaging the private sector and developing new programs and policies to spur growth. Tom will explore several policy options including new workforce development training for workers in the energy efficiency retrofit sector, new access to energy use data to allow investors to determine which buildings represent the best potential investments for retrofits, and new financing tools to attract private sector investments in Pennsylvania in building retrofits. 
  • Issue Responsible Climate Change Action Plans -- The next Climate Change Action plan, which is mandated by Act 70, is due in October, 2015. Tom will direct his Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection to produce a report that is based on science, and includes meaningful emission reduction targets and policies to help meet these goals.
  • Set Green Building Standards for State Buildings -- Tom will require the State to meet green building standards on all state-owned new large building projects (20,000+ square feet), building projects in which a state agency is leasing at least 90 percent of the square footage, and renovations of state-owned or leased buildings that meet this "size" criteria.
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions -- Under Tom's leadership, Pennsylvania will join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He will work with the initiative and other states to set emission caps that are fair to Pennsylvania. Tom will use a portion of the revenue generated from the sale of permits to invest in renewable energy technology.
  • Help build renewable energy workforce and sector -- As governor, Tom will target existing State workforce and education dollars toward the development of a public/private green jobs training program.