September 18, 2019
As the federal government under President Donald Trump has worked to roll back environmental protections and individual states have taken dramatic steps to combat climate change, Pennsylvania this year unveiled a sweeping plan to reduce the state’s carbon footprint.
For the first time, the state has a goal for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and 2050. The plan the Department of Environmental Protection proposed in April recommends policies and initiatives touching nearly every sector, from energy to transportation to agriculture and beyond. Gov. Tom Wolf says Pennsylvania is making progress.
State action on climate change is critical not only because the federal government has abandoned the issue but because state and local governments have authority over public utilities, land use, transit, and more, said Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center, which works with states on climate policy.
“Where the rubber hits the road is once you’ve made these commitments, how do you actually take the steps to reduce your emissions in line with those commitments?” Arroyo said.