This letter was originally published in The Centre Daily Times.
Hillary Clinton, Katie McGinty, Kerith Strano Taylor and Melody Fleck stand for a bright energy future. They know that solar energy must be at the heart of the nation’s and Pennsylvania’s energy portfolio. How?
According to industry analysts, the solar industry grew by 20 percent from 2014 to 2015 to more than 200,000 jobs, accounting for 1 in 83 new jobs in the past year. It is predicted to grow by about 15 percent in the next year, employing more people than either the coal industry or the oil and natural gas industry. At the same time, home solar installations have achieved price parity with the grid in 20 states. What would happen with smarter policies?
A solar boom will also help stabilize our climate. Pennsylvania is the second-biggest electricity exporter in the United States, accounting for 1 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. Those emissions represent a significant risk to nature, water resources and agriculture. Just ask the military, big insurance agencies or scientists who assessed Pennsylvania’s climate impacts. The Department of Defense says climate change is a “threat multiplier.” Failing to deal with it through smart energy policy already threatens food and water.
As Uncle Ben tells young Peter Parker in “Spiderman,” “With great power comes great responsibility.” Pennsylvania and the United States are literal powerhouses. Clinton, McGinty, Strano Taylor and Fleck know this. It’s time to make responsible energy decisions.