Thursday, June 21, 2007

Energy Independence for Pennsylvania

Governor Edward G. Rendell tonight praised the House of Representatives for overwhelmingly approving two major components of his Energy Independence Strategy. The chamber voted to approve two measures tonight. House Bill 1202, which provides for cleaner fuels and makes Pennsylvania less reliant on foreign oil, passed on a vote of 138-60, while House Bill 1200 was approved by a margin of 129-69. HB 1200 paves the way new economic development opportunities in the rapidly growing clean and renewable energy technology development industry. House Bill 1200 expands the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority to encourage new investments in the state’s growing renewable energy development and deployment fields. The authority will target grants, loans and tax credits to alternative energy manufacturers and energy-efficient companies to promote research in the field and attract new jobs to the state. PEDA is an independent financing authority established to help finance clean energy projects in Pennsylvania. Governor Rendell brought the board back to life in March 2005 after years of inactivity to help create new economic opportunities for Pennsylvania. Since that time, PEDA has awarded $21 million in grants and loans for 57 clean energy projects that are leveraging another $240 million in private investment. The projects will create 975 permanent and construction jobs. House Bill 1202 mandates new standards for clean burning fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, and by increasing demand for these products, will help create new opportunities for the state’s farmers. The bill requires that gasoline be blended with 10 percent ethanol and that diesel fuel eventually include 20 percent biodiesel once in-state production reaches certain levels. The Governor’s Energy Independence Strategy is designed to save consumers $10 billion in energy costs over the next decade, increase Pennsylvania’s alternative and renewable energy production capacity, reduce the state’s dependence on foreign fuels, and create more jobs. For more information on the Energy Independence Strategy, visit

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