Pennsylvania Passes Climate Change Act

Pennsylvania, a state that was known for coal production in the 20th century, hopes to set a more environmentally friendly course under the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act, approved by the state assembly last week. Governor Ed Rendell is expected to sign the bill soon.

The new law will create a greenhouse gas registry for businesses to track their emissions and receive credits for reductions. It also calls for an inventory of the state’s current emissions sources.

The state is said to produce 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than 105 developing nations combined.

The bill also requires the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop a plan to reduce statewide emissions. 

Both houses of the state legislature also passed a bill providing up to $15.9 million in subsidies for biodiesel manufactures over the next three years. Special Session Senate Bill 22 provides $0.75 for every gallon of biodiesel produced with a cap of $1.9 million for each producer.

A separate House bill (1202) calls for mandated blending of 2% biodiesel in all diesel sold in Pennsylvania one year after in-state production reaches 40 million gallons. This production trigger level is expected to be reached in approximately one year.

The bill also requires gasoline to contain 10% cellulosic ethanol one year after production levels reach 350 million gallons. No one knows when this level will be reached, as commercial cellulosic ethanol plants have yet to come online. 

It is expected that both bills will soon be signed into law by Rendell.

In Missouri, a bill calling for similar biodiesel blending (5% by 2010) died in the House. Missouri already requires gasoline sold in the state to contain 10% ethanol (non-cellulosic ethanol, produced primarily from corn).


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