State Initiatives

In the absence of any Congressional leadership on global warming, many states have implemented their own programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Pennsylvania, Clean Air Council worked with other diverse stakeholders from industry, agriculture and other environmental organizations on the Pennsylvania Climate Change Roadmap.  This document was the precursor for the Pennsylvania Climate Change Action Plan, announced in 2009 by Governor Ed Rendell as a “comprehensive strategy to make Pennsylvania a leader in addressing climate change.” The Council actively gathered public comments on the Plan to help ensure that it is as strong and robust as possible.

New Jersey is one of many states that have already implemented state-level global warming plans with strong science-based pollution reduction targets. The Council also works in Delaware to ensure strong environmental policies at the state level. The Council will continue to work with Mid-Atlantic state-level policymakers to make sure that the states move forward on addressing global warming while Congress debates a federal climate and energy plan. Furthermore, the Council will assist cities and municipalities to address their carbon footprint and implement policies to confront global warming on a local level.


The Clean Air Council is working to make sure that Pennsylvania does not follow through on its suggestion to credit Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants with carbon reductions. The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed limit on carbon dioxide from power plants requires Pennsylvania to cut carbon emissions by 32% from 2012 levels. At present, PA exports more energy than its entire commercial sector consumes, meaning that further CO2 reductions are easily attainable given the grid requirements of the state.

At the May 21 meeting of the Department of Environmental Protection Citizens Advisory Council, Outreach Director Matt Walker gave the following testimony, stressing the importance of having a solid plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and in turn climate change. Pennsylvania is emphasizing its plan to employ waste-to-energy and coal waste facilities that will actually increase carbon dioxide emissions.

Once a month the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection hosts it's Citizen Advisory Council. In January the DEP was in attendance to explain their Climate Action Plan (attached) and Matt Walker, the Clean Air Council's Outreach Director was there to critique the lack of a greenhouse gas reduction goal and the state's reliance on shale gas as an environmentally-friendly fuel.