On Wednesday, I participated in the Environmental Election Forum on C-NET sponsored by the Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition and other local and statewide organizations. Ann Danahy asked us questions on water quality and spill regulations, on plastic bag regulation, on fracking for natural gas and on climate change. My opponent, Kerry Benninghoff, and I are very different on these matters. Not to put to fine a point on it, I understand and accept the gravity of the issues, their impact on human health and the Creation and take a very active and action-oriented approach to them that is grounded in my fundamental belief in dignity and love for the interconnected web of life.
Here's what we need to do.
Support reforestation and conservation through our Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and a conservation corps that will plant five billion trees by 2030 on public and private land.
Incentivize and mandate green building and renewable energy standards, support homeowners and commercial firms to reduce carbon emissions, and most definitely support community solar.
Put a price on carbon dioxide to transition our power sector to be zero carbon before 2050, providing support for solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear energy.
Stabilize funding for our regulatory agencies and our core staff who make sure our parks are open, our game lands and fisheries thrive, and that industry is held accountable.
Special attention needs to be given to gas companies who have run roughshod over families, communities, and our land, water, and air, and have corrupted the legislature. Peter supports a full review of the industry, steeper penalties for bad actors, and a plan to phase out natural gas in the power and transportation sector.
I will work with my colleagues to advance environmental justice legislation to provide additional protections for those who have been least protected.
Finally, I say "Thank you" to Kerry Benninghoff for participating. I was really hard on him for not showing up to the League of Women Voters Candidates night, so it was excellent for us to be able to contrast our positions on issues that matter. Voters are better off for it.