State Continues Subsidy of Dirty Fossil Fuels, but Others Make Effort to Increase Use of Solar Power
A recent report by PennFuture documents the extent to which Pennsylvania subsidizes the fossil fuel industry … $2.9 billion per year. Many of these subsidies for the mature coal, oil, and gas industries are decades old and steadily maintained by powerful lobbying. Contrast that to the Corbett Administrations delay in renewing the Sunshine Solar Program, which is soon likely to run out of funds. To remedy this situation Rep. Chris Ross (Chester County) has introduced HB 1580 with bipartisan co-sponsorship from 108 Representatives. In particular, HB 1580 is designed to steady the solar renewable energy credit markets by requiring utilities to provide more solar energy. A second hearing on HB 1580 was cancelled last week.
Without waiting for state action, a coalition in Allegheny County lead by PennFuture has received a federal DOE grant of of $315,697 to remove barriers to solar energy use, and to create innovate funding tools to make solar accessible to families and small businesses.