From Harrisburg to Richmond, E2’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter has been touting the economic benefits of the Clean Power Plan.
 
Under the leadership of Gov. Tom Wolf and Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley, Pennsylvania began a comment period from September to November on the Clean Power Plan to hear from Pennsylvanians about the plan to cut carbon pollution.
 
E2 Member Andrea Wittchen penned an op-ed for the Allentown Morning Call prior to speaking at the listening session in the Lehigh Valley.
 
To sum up the response by Pennsylvanians, Secretary Quigley said, “I chaired every single one of the 14 listening sessions and heard a wide variety of opinions, but what was most consistent was support for the Clean Power Plan as a whole, support for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, and support for energy sources here in Pennsylvania. The people of Pennsylvania want this plan to move forward.”
 
While the Wolf Administration has said it intends to submit a state plan to the EPA by September 2016, the Pennsylvania General Assembly continues to attack the Clean Power Plan by introducing legislation to delay the implementation of the state plan. E2 will continue its advocacy in support of the plan in 2016.
 
Similarly, under the leadership of Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Department of Environmental Quality Secretary David Paylor, Virginia also held six listening sessions across the Commonwealth.
 

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Left to right: Tim Bagley of the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center, Will Gathright of Tumalow, Sec. Maurice Jones, Jonathan Young of Advanced Racking Solutions, and Alice Tong, E2 Eastern States Advocate.

In December E2 member Tim Bagley along with business leaders Will Gathright and Jonathan Young met with Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. E2 indicated its support of the Clean Power Plan and advocated for an energy mix in the Commonwealth that included more renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Secretary Jones agreed there is a need for more clean energy jobs in the Commonwealth.

Gov. McAuliffe has said he will submit a state plan to the EPA before his administration ends in 2017. He also recently announced the state government would derive approximately 8% of its electricity from solar energy within the next three years.
 
While it is heartening to see governors show leadership in implementing the Clean Power Plan, E2’s business voices are still needed in the Virginia and Pennsylvania state legislatures to advocate for the economic benefits of clean energy and energy efficiency policies. We have much work to do in 2016.
 
– Alice Tong is E2's Eastern States Advocate.