There’s plenty to debate about the EPA’s new carbon emission standards, as we saw at last week’s EPA hearings, including the one in Pittsburgh. But our view is that Pennsylvania will find these standards easy to achieve. Not only that, but they provide a historic opportunity to modernize and upgrade our electric power system for the 21st century. Lots of advanced energy options are available to meet our energy needs more efficiently and also reduce carbon emissions. Then there are the economic benefits: $22 billion in savings and 16,000 new industry jobs if Pennsylvania utilizes energy efficiency to meet the Clean Power Plan standards, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
Pennsylvania has already made a good start with energy efficiency efforts launched by Act 129. Now we have the opportunity to go further by using advanced energy technologies, including efficiency and renewable energy, to increase our competitive advantage and boost our economy, while also meeting EPA’s carbon standards.