July 5, 2008 |
Gov. Rendell yesterday signed a $28.3 billion spending plan that sends an unprecedented $274 million to schools, and includes billions of dollars for clean-energy projects, bridges, and municipal water and sewer facilities. At a news conference last night, Rendell praised the budget as "lean and strong," but also one that makes ambitious investments at a time when other states have had to enact deep spending cuts. "That we were able to make these kinds of investments without raising taxes makes this a very good budget," he said.
May 16, 2008
Inquirer left transgender student vulnerable The Inquirer made a serious error in judgment when it revealed far too much identifying information in an article describing the life of a transgender student in the Haverford School District ("School challenge: Transgender student is age 9," May 3). By introducing the name of the school and the neighborhood in which the subject lives, someone intent on harming this young person could easily find out her identity. Reporting that is done on victims of sexual abuse or violence reveals comparatively less identifying information to protect individuals' privacy.
April 21, 2008 |
During the last 10 years the prices of oil, natural gas and now coal have increased about 400 percent. Higher fossil-fuel prices are adding to our economic pain and soon will be reflected in electricity bills, since we make 70 percent of our electricity by burning fossil fuels. Electricity rate caps in Pennsylvania that capped prices at 1996 levels have ended in six electricity-service territories and will end throughout the state by January 2011. Gov. Rendell has been sounding the alarm since February 2007 on energy prices, urging swift passage of a package of energy bills that would create great green jobs and give consumers practical tools to cut their electricity bills.
October 9, 2007 |
For months, lobbyists for everyone from small-town Pennsylvania farmers to multibillion-dollar oil companies have swarmed the Capitol, jockeying for the best seat at the table to exert influence on Gov. Rendell's alternative energy legislation. Some are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying to make sure they are heard. It is a stark reminder that the fight over the future of alternative energy is not just a legislative brawl between Republicans and Democrats.
September 25, 2007 |
Linking the war in Iraq to the nation's reliance on foreign oil, Gov. Rendell yesterday made an urgent pitch to the legislature to pass his sweeping, but embattled, alternative-energy plan. Rendell opened his address to a special session on energy with a moment of silence for the 189 Pennsylvanians who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and later quoted from Alan Greenspan's recently published memoir, in which the former Federal Reserve chairman says the Iraq war is largely about oil. "The decisions we make about energy affect almost every aspect of our lives," Rendell told lawmakers who packed the House chamber yesterday.
September 24, 2007 |
Gov. Rendell's Energy Independence Strategy, a far-reaching plan for the promotion of renewable energy and conservation, was short-circuited by an intensive lobbying effort as the Pennsylvania General Assembly broke for summer recess in July. With a special session on energy set to begin today, it's time for citizens to power up. Unveiled in February, the Energy Independence Strategy (EIS) would establish an $850 million energy independence fund to promote energy-efficient appliances, solar panels and renewable energy projects; direct utility companies to use conservation measures to meet increased demand for electricity; require utilities to provide "smart meters" to their customers, and oblige Pennsylvania to grow and use more biofuels.
September 17, 2007 |
Recently, Exelon Corp. funded the creation of a group with the misleading name of Affordable, Clean, Reliable Energy (ACRE) Coalition. The group is little more than a front for the nuclear industry. The timing of the group's launch is no accident. In the fall, Gov. Corzine will unveil an energy master plan that will detail New Jersey's energy future for the next 15 years. Exelon and PSE&G are working to ensure that the governor writes nuclear into the plan instead of taking the state toward a visionary new energy future.
June 21, 2007 |
HARRISBURG - In 2004, Gov. Rendell warned delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Boston of the growing energy crisis and said it was time for America to step up and lead the world in the production of renewable energy. Yesterday, Rendell made a similar pitch to a local audience. Standing in the Capitol Rotunda, he challenged business leaders, consumers and lawmakers to "step boldly into the future" and turn Pennsylvania into the leading producer of alternative energy in the country.
May 8, 2007 |
Two weeks ago, Gov. Rendell presented his "Energy Independence Strategy" in the Capitol Rotunda with his environmental secretary, Kathleen McGinty, at his side. That same day, Senate Republicans were circulating a letter urging him to withdraw McGinty's name from renomination. There was a sense of d?j? vu. Four years earlier, Rendell had pulled his cabinet appointee's name at the request of Senate Republicans wanting to review her role as an environmental adviser to President Bill Clinton.
April 22, 2007 |
Even on a dismal, overcast day, Stargazers Vineyard in Unionville still generates enough electricity with its 54 solar panels to sustain the 29-acre farm and the house where owners Alice and John Weygandt live. "Our electric bill is zip. We make enough for the whole year," Alice Weygandt, 65, said. Renewable energy is slowly making inroads in Chester County, even though it is more expensive than conventional power if you buy it from a utility instead of generating it yourself, as the Weygandts do. Building a solar-energy system isn't cheap though; the Weygandts spent about $70,000.