Gov. Wolf Vetoes Bill that Ignores Dangers of Climate Change

first_img Environment,  Press Release Governor Tom Wolf vetoed House Bill 2025, which would have prevented the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from taking any action to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions in the commonwealth without the prior approval of the General Assembly.Carbon dioxide is a harmful greenhouse gas and a major contributor to climate change, and this bill would have put a halt to DEP efforts to mitigate the impact climate change has on lives and livelihoods in Pennsylvania, including rulemaking currently being developed to allow Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is an economically sound program that has a proven record of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in member states.Higher temperatures, unseasonal changes in precipitation, and more frequent and more extreme storms – all adverse effects of climate change – have already been experienced in Pennsylvania, and we must take action now to prevent worse changes from further endangering Pennsylvanians. This bill ignores science, and would have hampered the ability of the DEP to protect Pennsylvanians.Gov. Wolf’s HB 2025 veto message:“Addressing the global climate crisis is one of the most important and critical challenges we face. This legislation is extremely harmful to public health and welfare as it prevents the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Department) from taking any measure or action to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas and major contributor to climate change impacts, without prior approval of the General Assembly. Like every state in the country, the Commonwealth has already begun to experience adverse impacts from climate change, such as higher temperatures, changes in precipitation, and frequent extreme weather events, including large storms, flooding, heat waves, heavier snowfalls, and periods of drought. Reductions in carbon dioxide emissions are even more significant now as emerging evidence links chronic exposure to air pollution with higher rates of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.“This legislation also prohibits the Commonwealth from participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional initiative among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while generating economic growth, unless additional legislation is enacted. RGGI participating states have reduced power sector carbon dioxide pollution by 45 percent since 2005, while the region’s per-capita gross domestic product has continued to grow. By joining RGGI, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to make real progress on limiting climate change-causing carbon pollution while generating thousands of new jobs, providing for worker training, and offering future electric bill savings.“In addition to the legislation’s failure to address climate change, the immediate effect of this legislation would be to halt a rulemaking package I directed the Department to develop by executive order pursuant to the authority of the Air Pollution Control Act to abate, control, or limit carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel-fired electric power generators. The Regulatory Review Act and the Air Pollution Control Act afford the opportunity for extensive public participation, including public comment and public hearings, in the rulemaking process. Members of the General Assembly also have a robust role in the rulemaking process, including through their appointments on advisory committees and the Environmental Quality Board. This legislation creates burdensome and duplicative processes that will thwart the Department’s ability to take any action to regulate the greenhouse gas most responsible for climate change in the transportation, industrial, and commercial sectors, as well as the electric power sector.“The citizens of this Commonwealth cannot afford to wait any longer. Given the urgency of the climate crisis facing Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth must take concrete, economically sound, and immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Allowing this legislation to become law would effectively deny that climate change is an urgent problem that demands prudent solutions.” September 24, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Gov. Wolf Vetoes Bill that Ignores Dangers of Climate Changelast_img read more

Child protection service in crisis – Labour

first_img3News 26 July 2012 The coroner’s report on the deaths of the Kahui twins has revealed a child protection service in crisis, Labour says. Coroner Garry Evans has recommended installing child protection teams in hospitals and mandatory reporting by health professionals of suspected cases of child abuse. He also wants health and education authorities to have statutory responsibility for child protection. Labour’s social development spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern, says the Department of Child, Youth and Family (CYF) doesn’t have nearly enough frontline staff to protect vulnerable children. She says that over the last four years notifications of child abuse and neglect reaching CYF increased by nearly 70 per cent to more than 60,000. “Despite that, just 50 extra social workers have been taken on over the same period,” she said. “Given 21 of those have been placed in hospitals, and rightly so, it still means there are not enough social workers to deal with the huge increase in demand for their services.” Ms Ardern says she’s been told new staff who should have spent time under supervision are being “thrown in at the deep end” and CYF is dealing with high staff turnover. “Social workers do an incredibly tough job and deal with issues every day that would shock many people – loading them up with more and more cases helps no one.” Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says there are going to be 96 more social workers, including the 50 who have been hired. “None of the (coroner’s) recommendations come as a surprise, as they have been raised in previous inquiries,” she said. “A response will be coming forthwith.”last_img read more