Ten local chamber leaders recently called on state lawmakers to increase the Commonwealth’s commitment to clean energy—saying it will send a positive market signal for investments. And their message is being heard in the media.
The Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber was recently featured as an opinion editorial piece in the Pittsburgh Business Times applauding a new bipartisan bill heading for Gov. Wolf’s desk called Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, or C-PACE. The program, introduced as SB 234 by Senator Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny/ Washington), makes good Pennsylvania-style common sense by enabling more businesses to take advantage of cost-saving energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades.
“I see that Ohio has an opportunity to not only be a leader in energy but to create a new economy—and that new economy in this case can be the economy of the wind industry,” said Sen. Dolan, sponsor of SB-238, the wind turbine set-back bill, which would strike a compromise to protects property rights and allow wind development to continue.
“Clean energy is a $11.4 billion part of Massachusetts’ economy—and growing,” Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) told Local Chambers of Commerce the day after his committee introduced new energy legislation to help Massachusetts diversify its energy sources and satisfy corporate demand for more renewable energy.
The transition to the clean energy economy is happening now. States are making it happen. Local communities are making it happen. And corporations are making it happen.
This was the message on last week’s special briefing call for local chambers from guest speakers Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI); former Governor Bill Ritter Jr. (D-CO); Rich Powell, Executive Director of the ClearPath Foundation; and Theresa Kostzrewa, Consultant for Amazon.
“We know that many businesses—including our largest member, Walmart—want to fully power their operations with clean energy,” “said Steve Clark, President of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. “It’s important that we support them in seizing the economic opportunities in the clean energy transition.”
“The Lancaster Chamber applauds the bi-partisan efforts to support Pennsylvania’s manufacturing and solar deployment,” said Tom Baldrige, the Chamber’s President & CEO. “Several of our member companies will benefit from the new law and the $30 million for the Solar Energy Program. We hope to attract more solar manufacturing and development in the state and in our county,” he added.
Massachusetts chambers and their member companies had an engaging dialogue with Rep. Golden (D – Lowell) and Sen. Pacheco (D – Taunton) on a Sept. 20th briefing call to learn more about the recently passed energy legislation, An Act to Promote Energy Diversity (H4568). Both legislators played key roles in the new legislation and are preparing for additional steps in 2017.
From a Columbus suburb (home to a new wind-powered Amazon data center) to the small village of Paulding (where a new wind farm will begin generating electricity in 2017) local chamber leaders trekked to Ohio’s capitol this month to tell Gov. Kasich and lawmakers how their communities have benefited from wind energy.
Chamber leaders demonstrated interest in state policies that support clean energy development. When asked in an informal survey if they agreed with Gov. Kasich’s recent comment that it is “unacceptable” for Ohio to maintain a freeze on renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, 90 percent of chamber leaders said yes.