A. What is your greatest environmental achievement?
Im founder of a dozen organizations dedicated to ecology and social justice. Among these are the Philadelphia Orchard Project, Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, Ithaca HOURS local currency, Ive started several campaigns that successfully blocked a proposed highway, an incinerator, and a shopping mall on wetland. Wrote one of the first textbooks on urban ecology (1982) and taught Metropolitan Ecology at Temple University. Received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism for my comprehensive study of the Tompkins County fuel system. http://paulglover.org
B. What top three environmental issues would you become actively involved with once elected?
1. Energy efficiency leads my agenda. During the next decades Pennsylvania is capable of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by 80%. I will aggressively fund energy efficiencies and expand tax credits for solar/wind/ cogeneration, to reduce demand for fossil fuels and end fracking. Shift budget from road building to transit.
2. Fully employ all Pennsylvanians to rebuild cities, suburbs and farms toward balance with nature. I will launch the Green Labor Administrtion (GLAD) to coordinate green jobs development. This will be funded partly through regional stock exchanges and regional credits, as described in my book Green Jobs Philly. http://www.issuu.com/metroeco/docs/greenjobsphilly
3. Shift the budget from prisons to schools, to feature green jobs training (solar construction, permaculture, water conservation, nontoxic cleaning and healing).
C. What additional endorsements have you received that you would like us to be aware of?
New Progressive Alliance, Dr. Patch Adams, Decarcerate PA is pending
1. Renewable Energy: In 2010, Pennsylvania ranked fourth nationwide in the number of solar jobs with 4,703, and had 750 solar businesses, sixth most in the U.S. according to the state Department of Labor and Industry. Solar power capacity in Pennsylvania now tops 120 megawatts and solar power exceeds the goals set in Pennsylvanias 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. But solar jobs are now declining in Pennsylvania.
Do you support a bill like HB 100 to increase the percentage of renewable energy in the electricity market?
My main aim would be to set Pennsylvania on the long path to durable abundance without fossil fuels or nuclear power. Decentralized municipal electric distribution and passive solar construction can dramatically shift civilization to sun, wind, microhydro. Most powerful among all renewables, though, is insulation.
What executive actions would you take to promote renewable energy in Pennsylvania?
Id give top budget priority, as noted above, to residential and business energy efficiency (especially insulation and passive solar); incentives for solar, wind and low-head hydro electric; rail and transit, bike paths; regional manufacture (especially of insulation). We need to reduce hurdles and fees for interconnection and net metering.
Every Pennsylvania dollar not lost to global utilities multiplies our ability to create green jobs doing the above, and the following. So Id shift the State budget's $2.6 billion fossil fuel subsidies toward solar, wind, green construction and green schools. Id encourage municipal electric distribution. Id restore high incentives for residential solar and wind.
Renewable energy expansion requires massive re-investment of wealth. Therefore Id foster regional stock exchanges charged with gathering capital of all kinds, to facilitate regional eco-development.
I endorse strong PACE standards. Ive written the article Beyond LEED, which introduces stronger LEED metrics.
2. Coal-Fired Electric Generation: Recently, several utilities have announced plans to close coal fired electric generating stations in Pennsylvania. With the low energy prices, a lack of demand and the reluctance of some utilities to make capital improvements to comply with environmental protections, we can expect more closures in the future.
What steps will you take to ensure that these generating plants are closed safely and do not leave residual environmental contamination?
As coal power plants retire, my administration would ensure that permits are rescinded and not passed on for these properties to be used by other polluting uses. These industrial sites are often quite contaminated and are unfit for other uses. I'd start by revamping the land recycling program so that it actually deserves the awards it receives. Deregulating toxic site cleanup to prioritize reuse with minimal cleanup has been a long-standing problem. We need to fully analyze any pollution on these sites then ensure that any possible on-site microbial decontamination neutralizes organic contaminants. Toxic metals and other pollutants that cannot be safely neutralized must be contained to protect water supplies. We shoul prioritize on-site remediation to avoid a toxic shell-game and avoid further contamination.
Remaining coal plants with low heat rate performance would be expected to optimize combustion, replace turbine blades, precombust. Energy efficiency must outpace the retirement rates of existing conventional power plants.
While demand side management is the greatest priority, carbon capture through integrated gasification combined cycle technologies, and enhanced oil recovery, immediately reduce CO2 emissions. Power plant owners should have discretion to choose how they would achieve required emission reductions. Transparent reporting and independent monitoring are essential.
We should end trash incineration, and export of trash for incineration, because trash-to-energy CO2 emissions are worse than coal, while trash burning produces dioxins that cause birth defects and cancer. Deconstruction of buildings and re-use of materials rather than demolition should be encouraged.
We should expect lower-emitting plants to provide more base load, regardless of spot price.
We should establish baseline measurements that include all sources, but not permit carbon trading credits that reduce the phasing out of fossil fuel plants. This closes a significant carbon pollution loophole.
We must surpass federal regulations with natural gas plants as well. We cannot allow conversions from coal to natural gas in the name of clean energy, since fracked gas GHG emissions are far worse than coal, when leakage from pipelines and compressor stations is counted. Methane leakage from gas drilling is far greater than EPA estimates.
Special attention to utility-generated pollution is needed in low-income communities and communities of color, where contamination is typically most hazardous. Our state should exceed federal standards, and prohibit coal gasification in these areas. Power plants are Pennsylvanias greatest sources of carbon dioxide release. No further oil, gas, biomass or nuclear plants should be built.
I would appoint members to PUC with proven loyalty to these themes
What steps will you take to assist local communities with economic transition?
Regions make themselves rich and powerful primarily by recycling their wealth, to magnify it. That means retaining talents, skills, and money of local people in the community as much as possible, connecting the community to take care of itself to the maximum extent practical. Heres my summary of some ways this is done:
Business Incubators are buildings containing equipment shared by small new businesses, to reduce startup costs.
Buy-Local Campaigns promote social and economic benefits of shopping for locally-produced goods, at locally-owned stores.
Co-Housing provides shared community spaces for child care, gardens, cooking, recreation, to make life friendlier and easier.
Community Development Corporations are citizen groups with power of government, to initiate programs for business, housing, transit, etc. Some even have power of eminent domain.
Community Development Credit Unions are member-owned banks that invest most money back to the neighborhoods from where deposits came.
Community Foundations make grants to local groups.
Community Insulation Initiatives install energy-efficient equipment in homes. Insulation factories recycle newsprint while employing low-skill workers to install energy efficiencies that reduce costs of living.
Community Reinvestment Agencies are local groups which make sure local banks invest locally, without racial bias.
Eco-Indicators are relied on to measure whether the local economy is improving for all, or merely enriching an elite.
Eco-Industrial Parks exemplify manufacturing of basic useful goods with recycled materials and zero pollution.
Farmers Markets enable farmers and craftspeople to sell directly to local people.
Farmland Retention groups advocate public policy that promotes and protects local farming.
Flexible Manufacturing Networks combine the skills and tools of several local manufacturers to enable them jointly to get a manufacturing contract.
Food and Fuel Co-ops coordinate bulk buying of food, fuels, solar equipment, windmills and insulation by neighbors, to reduce unit costs and gain policy leverage.
Health Funds are locally-controlled nonprofit health financing co-ops.
Housing Co-ops remove housing from the speculative market, enabling occupants to resell their units with specified limits to profit.
Import Replacement Programs connect regional businesses and individuals to supply each other, rather than depending on imports.
Industrial Retention Initiatives are carrot-and-stick programs seeking to keep industry from closing or moving away.
Land Trusts purchase local land to protect it, usually from suburbanization. They buy housing to remove it from the profit system.
Local Pension Funds are locally-originated and controlled, much of whose capital is dedicated to local investment.
Local Currencies are local credits that add to local money supply, raises minimum wage, promotes job creation, friendly trade, local business.
Local Tax Credits reduce local fees on organic farms, solar and wind energy, realizing that tax reductions will be returned via high sales tax revenues.
Materials Re-use Centers disassemble and stockpile components of discards, for resale and remanufacturing. New buildings are constructed ecologically, using non-rainforest woods.
Microlending makes small loans at low interest, in order to help new small businesses form.
Military-to-Domestic Conversions retrofit vacated military bases or weapons factories for nonmilitary jobs and production.
Revolving Loan Funds make money available at zero- or low-interest for specified purposes when prior loans are repaid.
Smart Growth is land use planning restrains sprawl and relies on regional business rather than chains. Government invents new rules to facilitate this shift. Corporations are evaluated for their commitment to the environment and fair pay.
Socially Responsible Investing is the practice of selecting stocks and bonds according to their environmental and/or social effects.
Worker Ownership Networks support conversion of business ownership to employees.
I have started several such programs and consult for grassroots economic development.
3. Climate Change: Pennsylvania is a major emitter of greenhouse gases (1% of global GG emissions) which are contributing to climate change in Pennsylvania and globally. In 2008, the PA General Assembly passed Act 70, the PA Climate Change Act. Act 70 requires DEP to publish reports on 1) how climate change will affect PA and 2) ways PA can lower greenhouse gas emissions. Eighteen months late, DEP has finally released the "PA Climate Impact Assessment Update" (#1), but (as of November 5,) has not yet released the mandated Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (#2), now more than a year overdue. The Climate Change Advisory Committee established by Act 70 has been frustrated by the refusal to issue these reports on time, and by attempts to get the scientists who are preparing the reports to suppress information about the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from natural gas operations.
As climate disruptions continue to increase (Super Storm Sandy is an example of the kind of weather we can expect from climate disruption), Pennsylvania needs to take action. Many of the steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are both good for the economy and good for our health and the environment.
Do you agree that climate change is a serious problem, and that PA needs to take aggressive action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions?
Billions of humans during this past industrial century have sparked an apparently irreversible climate spiral that will raise ocean levels,submerge cities, extinguish species, spread disease, and aggravate resource wars.
As global warming accelerates, Pennsylvanias transition must sharpen. Without aggressive energy efficiency there is no national defense, no real community development nor personal success.
Thus, complete rebuilding of our cities and farms during the next 100 years, to accommodate these trends, should be Pennsylvanias foremost definition of progress, and will be the top priority of my administration. Green building and energy efficiency are the essential foundations of a healthy economy. We can gradually cut reliance on fossil fuels by 80%.
Solar cities, schools, and suburbs should receive incentives for passive solar construction and retrofit, attached greenhouses and atria, heat grabbers, sun tubes, etc. Funding will be sparked by regional stock exchanges dedicated to eco-development.
Current dependence on centralized utilities drag us into the past, financially and environmentally. While we focus on efficient retrofits, steam cogeneration should get sharp fuel rate discounts. Geothermal and wind should be welcomed into the smart grid as well, and net metering should welcome these small generators. Mountaintop removal should end.
Further, I would shift the States budget from road building to rail and transit. The era of the automobile, whether gasoline or electric, must gracefully fade, as we build for proximity rather than speed. A penny-per-gallon gas tax paves this route.
In like manner, Id shift the States subsidies from oil-soaked agribusiness to instead stimulate regional farms, especially CSAs that are organic and GMO-free. Id encourage urban greenhousing and permaculture (Im founder of the Philadelphia Orchard Project). Planting millions of trees in cities will greatly reduce carbon emissions, by cooling urban heat islands and cutting air conditioning loads.
As well, import replacement programs will stimulate regional manufacture of green products, decreasing our dependence on global imports while creating jobs.
Perhaps most challenging, Id encourage a shift from our consumer culture to a creative culture. Success and the good life might be better defined as preparing a legacy of beautiful cities, rather
than mountains of trash.
Many of us want big change, but few of us want to be changed. Therefore proposed policy changes must promise both immediate and long-range benefits. They must be safe. They must be stylish. They must be fun. Those who invest must be celebrated for redirecting investments. Those who love shopping must have green products. Those afraid of sharing must be assured of control.
A Green governor would nominate like-minded experts to the PUC.
I've taught urban studies (Metropolitan Ecology) at Temple University, and written the article "Beyond LEED," which proposes stronger LEED standards. I'm author of "Ithaca Power," a comprehensive energy survey of that region (1988), which received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
As Governor, what additional steps would you take to ensure that DEP issue the mandated Climate Action Plan on time and to implement the Plan's recommendations?
While most DEP personnel maintain high professional standards, DEP policy tilts as directed by elected officials who are often corrupted by corporate bribes. Thus some DEP officers are themselves corrupted by promises of private sector employment. This revolving door must close. I would appoint a new DEP Commissioner who has proven lifelong dedication to environmental health, committed to immediate GGAP issuance.
4. Water Quality: Current development practices often involve building right up to the edge of streams and rivers, often increasing erosion, flooding and pollution. Numerous studies have found that a forested buffer along a stream of at least 100 feet provides significant improvements in water quality, through utilizing the natural ability of plants and soil to filter pollutants and stabilize stream banks. In addition to protecting drinking water sources, forested stream buffers improve fish habitat, decrease the costs of stormwater management, and reduce flooding damage. In 2010, DEP enacted a mandatory stream buffer rule, requiring a 150 foot buffer for Exceptional Value and High Quality streams, when new development occurs. However, legislation such as HB 1565 has been introduced which would overturn DEPs stream buffer rule.
Would you support or oppose legislation which would remove the existing stream buffer requirement for Exceptional Value and High Quality streams?
Pennsylvania has long been invading and poisoning its rivers for profit. Riparian buffers, the broader the better, are the least we can do.
Economic expansion which damages the health of humans, animals, plants, soil, water and air is not progress but decay. Real economic development therefore celebrates and defends the contributions to a healthy economy made by water.
Would you support or oppose expanding the stream buffer requirement to include a minimum 100 foot forested buffer along all streams when there is new development?
Would favor at least 500 feet, with transfer of development rights. Will suggst requiring permeable paving within 1,000 feet.
5. Transportation Funding: Accessibility to public transportation helps decrease the amount of motor vehicles on the road and reduces emissions that directly, indirectly and cumulatively lead to environmental and health problems. The need to fund public transportation systems has far out-stripped available funding. Legislation being considered includes $510 million for public transit and $115 million for other modes of transit and establishes additional fines and surcharges creating additional funding for PAs public transit agencies.
Do you support or oppose the funding levels provided for public transportation in SB 1?
Automobiles are heavily subsidized, directly through road building and repair, and indirectly through police, courts, regulation, waste of time in traffic, health costs of air and water pollution, loss of wealth to global corporations, and wars for oil.
What additional measures if any would you implement to help better fund public transportation?
I would shift the budget from road expansion to transit, especially rail. Id seek to expand ridership by reducing rider fees. This is done by cutting energy overhead through efficiencies, investing pensions in a Pennsylvania state bank that grants 5% of interest income to transit. As well, Id push for a penny-per-gallon gasoline tax for transit, and encourage car-free transit oriented development.
6. Oil and Gas Zoning Preemption: A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling overturned portions of Act 13 that required municipalities to allow drilling in all zoning districts, including residential areas. In their majority opinion the justices found these sections unconstitutional because they violated the Environmental Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Would you support or oppose future legislative efforts to restrict municipal governments ability to use their zoning ordinances to determine the location of oil and gas operations?
American liberty has no meaning if Pennsylvanians cannot defend their homes against confiscatory contamination and noise, imposed for corporate gain.
7. State Forests: Pennsylvanias state forests provide important protection for many headwater streams that serve as sources for public drinking water. In addition they are a habitat for many species of wildlife and plants and a source of recreation that support Pennsylvanias tourism industry. Nearly a third of our state forest land -roughly 700,000 acres- is already available for natural gas drilling. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the agency charged with maintaining our public lands, has asserted the state forest system is at grave risk from further drilling. In 2010, Gov. Rendell signed an Executive Order halting further leasing of our state forests for natural gas drilling. Recently Governor Corbett issued an executive order reopening our state forests and opening our state parks for natural gas leasing.
Do you support or oppose the reopening of our state forests and the opening of our state parks for further natural gas leasing?
Exploitation of parklands is criminal. After Tom Corbett is hired by the fracking industry upon his retirement from office, he should be indicted for accepting bribes.
8. Enforcement: While DEP has identified thousands of environmental violations by natural gas extraction operations, rarely are significant enforcement actions taken against the violating companies. Out of nearly 1,200 violations at drilling sites in 2011, 93% of these violations resulted in no fines to the companies. Significant violations, such as failure to properly cement and case a well or causing the contamination of a water supply, were frequently overlooked when it came to DEP taking an enforcement action to hold companies accountable.
Would you support or oppose mandatory fines and enforcement actions for significant violations of oil and gas rules?
I would levy prohibitive remediation bonds on all wells. I support lawsuits by those harmed by fracking, such as the recent successful claim for $3 million damages near Plano, Texas. The Three-Strikes-and-Youre-Out law should apply to frackers.
Enforcement staff will be increased so that all major polluting facilities are inspected at least monthly, and every facility will be inspected at least annually. During my administration all inspections will be surprise inspections, and steep fines will bite hard enough to change corporate behavior. I'll also require every permitted air polluter to use continuous emissions monitors for each regulated pollutant for which monitors are available. There cannot be meaningful enforcement if permit compliance is measured just one day a year under best-case conditions.
What actions would you take to improve DEPs enforcement of our environmental laws?
Removal of DEP careerists who yield to corporate demands. Close the revolving door between bureaucracies and industy. Encourage and protect whistle-blowing. The Green Party does not acept corporate contributions. The green governor will not meet with lobbyists.
9. Conditional Drilling Moratorium: The growth of oil and gas industry has outpaced Pennsylvanias ability to adequately update its laws, regulations, and oversight. Unlike Pennsylvania, states like New York and Maryland are conducting comprehensive studies that assess the cumulative impact of all industry operations before determining how best to proceed. Pennsylvania is already feeling the ramifications of not doing its due diligence. Negative impacts to air and water quality are occurring across the Commonwealth, with DEP documenting over 161 cases of water contamination caused by gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Recently, legislation was introduced which would create a moratorium on the issuance of permits for drilling unconventional gas wells until studies could be conducted on water source protection, air quality regulations, disclosure of chemicals used in fracking, the permitting process, and more.
Do you support or oppose legislation that would create a moratorium on issuing new drilling permits, until the state has fully conducted studies meant to protect our health and environment?
I am the only candidate for governor of Pennsylvania who would ban hydrofracking. A moratorium on fracking is merely a stay of execution. Anything less than a ban is irresponsible. Mere regulation of fracking is not mature compromise, but capitulation to greed.
For decades I have seen that professionals who write environmental impact statements conclude as their sponsors prefer.
Pennsylvanias frontline experts are those who live amid frack fields, and they conclude that hydrofracking is already damaging our water, homes and roads, through methane releases into water and air.
An estimated five percent of well casings are expected to fail soon after installation.Even properly managed wells spread fumes. With 100,000 wells projected, we would need not only an army of field monitors but an army of incorruptible monitors backed by a DEP with courage and teeth. It will be impossible to tax fracking enough to offset the permanent damage to water, health, communities and businesses. Wells are already exploding, containment pits are leaking, and trains are derailing. Thus, a West Virginia-style catastrophe looms.
Therefore, wherever current drilling contracts cant be broken, prohibitive remediation bonds should be imposed. We should make criminally liable the chief executive of any company whose wells leak, and we should close those wells. We should ban intercounty and interstate transport of fracking fluids. We should end pipeline extension, particularly for export facilities. We should encourage township bans.
Regardless of your position on a moratorium, what additional safeguards if any do you believe are needed in order to better protect our health and environment from the dangers of natural gas drilling?
Nothing less than a complete ban is essential.
Destruction of water supplies is profound violence. Criminal penalties on frack spills should be imposed on corporate scofflaws.
State bans on truck and rail transport of frack fluids and sand will make fracking less profitable. Township bans on fracking are an immediate stopgap. Township limits on truck tonnage wil be effective.
10. DEP Budget: Since 2000-2001, support for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has dropped by over $200 million. In addition, DEP has lost more than 20% of its personnel. This trend raises serious concerns about whether DEP is able to carry out its mission, especially as we face a surge in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.
Do you believe the current funding levels are adequate to ensure DEP is able to carry out its mission?
DEP needs more enforcement staffing and more funding across the board. That funding ought to be supported by taxes on pollution and on higher tipping fees at waste facilities so that our state is not such an attractive dumping ground for out-of-state waste. Fines from enforcement should also be serious enough to cover the costs of enforcement.
11. Secretary Nominees: Appointment of individuals to run the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be one of your earliest environmental decisions. These appointments will be responsible for carrying out these agencies missions of protecting Pennsylvania's air, land and water from pollution and providing for the health and safety of its citizens as well as maintaining and preserving the state's 120 [ state parks ]( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pennsylvania_state_parks ) and 20 [ state forests ]( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pennsylvania_state_forests ) and working with communities to benefit local recreation and natural area. A nominees background will strongly influence how they approach these obligations.
As Governor, will you appoint qualified individuals to these agencies who are not beholden to regulated industries?
To separate the corrupt from the honest, I would ensure that no new enforcement staff have previously worked for industry and would prohibit staff from accepting such employment after government service for ten years.
What credentials will you look for in prospective candidates to run these agencies?
Demonstrated lifelong commitment to environmental justice, plus a background in public interest law, within a lifestyle that makes them least susceptible to bribes. No hires from the pollution sector.
12. River Basin Commissions: Pennsylvania is part of two compacts with other states that created the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. The commissions are tasked in their respective basin with acting on applications for projects using water, adopting regulations, and direct planning and management activities affecting the basin's water resources.
Since 2011, the Delaware River Basin Commission has maintained a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the watershed, which is the source of drinking water for 15 million people. Do you support or oppose maintaining the moratorium until the full impact of drilling in the watershed is understood and until state and federal regulations exist to adequately protect this crucial source of drinking water?
Funding for these studies, and the professionals hired, must be beyond reach of hydrofracking interests. Science is for hire.
Do you support or oppose having the Susquehanna River Basin Commission conduct a comprehensive study of how gas drilling is impacting water resources in the Susquehanna watershed? What additional steps do you think the SRBC can take to protect fisheries and reduce nutrient and sediment pollution in the basin?
Step one: stop issuing fracking water withdrawal permits. The issue of nutrient and sediment pollution is much larger than SRBC, however. We need to halt logging and sprawl development that creates much of the sediment pollution.
We also need to shift subsidies from corporate agriculture to small-scale sustainable organic agriculture and a plant-based diet. This includes everything from keeping toxic sewage sludge off of our farm fields to improving the food in school lunches to supporting community gardens, community supported agriculture and farmers markets.
Most audaciously, we must evolve beyond water-based centralized sewage treatment to biodigester toilets.
13. Green Construction: Pennsylvania's statewide building code is generally known as the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). Enforcement of the UCC was adopted in April 2004. Since 2010 however, the Review and Advisory Council (RAC) -- charged with the review of new and amended provisions contained in triennial revisions of the UCC codes -- has refused to approve any updates to the building codes. In April 2012, the UCC RAC again informed the Department of Labor and Industry that no UCC 2012 triennial code revisions would be adopted. The 2009 edition of the UCC codes remain in effect, but Pennsylvania is falling behind other states in updating safety and energy efficiency requirements. Increased energy efficiency results in reduced pollution, while it also lowers utility bills.
Do you support legislation to reform the Review and Advisory Council to require mandatory and timely updates to Pennsylvania's Uniform Construction Code?
The Uniform Construction Code should be updated biannually to embrace the most aggressively energy efficient methods and technologies. My appointments to the UCC Review and Advisory Council will match this aim.
Decades from now, no housing will be affordable, nor any business sustainable, unless passive solar. Such buildings have proven to reduce fuel needs to near zero, even in cold climates. Thus solar construction, both passive and active, should be fast tracked and rewarded. I would expand AEPS and push for a range of green building incentives, both grants and interest-free loans. I support Pennsave's Energy Performance Contracting.
Reduced fuel demand through efficiency tops my agenda. Energy efficiency is our states key to healthy people, healthy economy, healthy future. The best fuel, ultimately, is no fuel.
Deconstruction and re-use of building materials should be preferred to demolition. I will convene a Green Building Commission. Appointees will be chosen from among those proving lifelong dedication to green themes, having no connection to fossil fuel industries.
As Governor, Id support requiring high-performance building standards for all school buildings that are newly constructed or undergoing major renovation. Among these standards should be green roofs and schoolyards, solar atria, sun tubes, HVAC monitoring, CFLs, Energy Star everything (including computers). But again, passive solar is key, to fully fund public schools. Would seek federal grants and interest-free loans (such as Qualified Zone Academy Bonds). At the same time, green curricula are needed, to teach the skills of neighborhood management.
Ive drafted plans for the Philadelphia Insulation Factory (PIF), which would convert newspapers into cellulose insulation, employing low-income neighbors to manufacture and install, gaining reduced utility bills.
There are legislative efforts to encourage sustainable development, green building and green manufacturing practices. These efforts are centered on a series of tax credits for businesses and individuals that would incentivize projects like the construction of a green building or the rehabilitation of a non-green building into a green building and the building and maintaining of green roofs. Would you support or oppose legislative efforts like these?
Economic expansion which damages the health of humans, animals, plants, soil, water and air is not progress but decay. Real economic development therefore celebrates and rewards the contributions to a healthy economy made by environmentalists and green energy businesses.
14. Endangered Species Coordination Act HB 1576, entitled the Endangered Species Coordination Act, if adopted would require all currently listed and additional candidates for threatened and endangered species be submitted to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission for review prior to adoption by the Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Currently the agencies scientists are responsible for developing the recommendations for listing species and the commissioners engage in public hearings to obtain public comment before reaching a final decision.
Do you believe a regulatory problem exists in these independent agencies that the proposed act will address? If so, what is the regulatory problem?
Poor regulation is spurred by 0greed coupled with the failure to comprehend how society thrives without destroying the foundations of our existence. The revolving door between regulation and industry mst close. Ive written the book A Crime Not a Crisis, which details corruption between Pennsylvania regulators, legislators and insurers to keep medical insurance costly. The mechanisms of such corruption operate throughout state government.
Do you believe that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Game Commission should be allowed to continue to use sound science when they act to list species under their jurisdiction which the commissions believe are threatened or endangered?
The recommendations of these agencies should trigger protection of habitat and boundaries to construction.
15. Frac Pits/Impoundments:At lease 800,000 million gallons or 20% the water used in a hydraulic fracturing job returns to the surface. This water contains barium, strontium, heavy metals, [ radium ]( http://www.marcellus-shale.us/radioactive-shale.htm ) and other toxic components. Open earthen impoundments/pits are constructed to store this wastewater until it is taken away for disposal or recycled. Most impoundments are 300ft x 400ft, 15-ft deep, and can hold 15 million gallons of fluids. Leaks and spills from frack pits can occur when the simple plastic liner tears or when pits overflow from flooding or other high water events. States like Illinois have passed laws requiring hydraulic fracturing wastewater to be stored in above-ground tanks
Would you support or oppose legislation that would prohibit open earthen impoundments/pits and require companies to use above-ground tanks for the storage of natural gas wastewater?
Aboveground tanks are liable to leakage and catastrophe as in West Virginia. All toxic storage must be systematicaly foreclosed, as Pennsylvania is rebuilt to rely on nontoxic substances. Preparing a healthy and sustainable civilization needs bold leadership, not distracted by greed.