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Gov. Wolf establishes first statewide goal to reduce carbon pollution in Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf signs new executive order

Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that he has signed a new executive order establishing the first statewide goal to reduce carbon pollution in Pennsylvania, which is contributing to climate change.

The executive order also establishes the GreenGov Council to boost green and sustainable practices in state government to help achieve the goals set in the executive order.

“In the absence of leadership from the federal government, states and cities are stepping up and doing their part to reduce emissions,” said Governor Wolf. “Today I am proud to declare the commonwealth’s intention to address climate change, the most critical environmental threat facing the world.”

The commonwealth will work to achieve a 26 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050, from 2005 levels. The GreenGov Council will work with all state agencies to reduce energy use in state government and improve the energy efficiency of state buildings and vehicles, saving taxpayers money in the process.

The GreenGov Council will serve as a central coordinating body to promote the implementation of the executive order and the achievement of the following state agency performance goals:

  • Reduce overall energy consumption by 3 percent per year, and 21 percent by 2025, as compared to 2017 levels.
  • Replace 25 percent of the state passenger car fleet with battery electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by 2025.
  • Procure renewable energy to offset at least 40 percent of the commonwealth’s annual electricity use.

The GreenGov Council will encourage and coordinate the incorporation of environmentally sustainable practices into the commonwealth government’s policy, planning, operations, procurement, and regulatory functions, and strive for continuous improvement in efficiency and performance.

Secretaries of the Departments of General Services, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources will co-chair the Council.

The governor announced the new executive order at a Tuesday event in Pittsburgh celebrating a commitment by Peoples Gas to cut methane emissions from that city’s distribution system by 50 percent using advanced leak detection methods developed in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth Outreach to map and measure leaks coming from underground pipes. The pledge is the first of its kind by a United States utility.

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  • As a crematory owner, the amount of carbon emissions entering our environment is an enormous concern of mine. PA is one of only two states in the country to require cremations to be performed at 1800F – significantly higher temperature than is necessary. Considering there are hundreds of thousands of deceased pets and people cremated annually in our state, reducing this threshold to 1400F would have a marked effect on reducing carbon emissions released into our environment.

  • Great initial steps.
    Possibly encourage public to stop using bags when not needed and ban plastic…as in colorado. More commercials and billboards that educate publuc on their role…not just undustry.

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