Senate Acts to Establish Sweeping New Energy Framework to Meet PA’s Power Needs

HARRISBURG – Acting to establish a sweeping new energy framework for Pennsylvania, the Senate approved legislation creating the Independent Energy Office (IEO) and Pennsylvania’s Opportunity with Energy Reliability (POWER) Board, said Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20).

With Senate Bill 832, the IEO will provide data-driven analysis and ensure lawmakers have the reliable information necessary to review and implement current energy strategies as well as be on the forefront of new innovative technologies.

The POWER Board will be a public clearinghouse for energy development in Pennsylvania and allow residents to see public accountability on decisions that impact energy prices in Pennsylvania.

“Because energy capacity and reliability are key considerations in just about every aspect of our lives, we should have a coherent energy policy in place. We must make sure that the addition of alternative and renewable energy sources does not subtract from the jobs and commercial impact realized from conventional sources,” said Baker.

Pennsylvania’s electricity exports are the largest in the region and a massive economic engine. Capitalizing on this status will create greater energy independence and good-paying jobs. We can learn a great deal from the successes and failures of other states on the energy front. Given our position as a large producer and consumer of various forms of energy, our policy must be unique to our economic and environmental circumstances.

“NEPA, as much as any region, has seen the rise and decline of energy companies. We have also seen the high cost and degree of difficulty of fixing legacy contaminated properties, and there is still work ongoing,” Baker said. “At the same time, we have figured out ways to turn reclaimed properties into productive sites once again. These lessons can be well applied as our commonwealth undergoes an energy expansion, more than a transition.”

At various times, weaknesses in our energy grid have become apparent. The development of energy intensive enterprises tied to technology means we cannot delay expanding the grid. Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee hearings established that Pennsylvania’s destabilized power grid will not be able to meet the commonwealth’s energy needs soon. There must be an all-of-the-above strategy that recognizes the only way the grid maintains itself is by having all available energy sources complement each other.

CONTACT: Jennifer Wilson

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