This is another in a series of articles in PA Environment Digest to highlight the positions of candidates for Governor on environment, infrastructure and energy issues.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett this week announced what he said was a key component of his economic development and jobs plan-- “Expanding Pennsylvania’s Economy through Innovation.”
Part of the Plan include a Sustainable/Green Infrastructure: "Pennsylvania must be a global leader in sustainability by driving green solutions across all sectors, including healthcare, agriculture, transportation, energy, technology, infrastructure and government for the social and economic benefit of Pennsylvanians. Tom Corbett believes this will encourage not only cost-savings, but also job growth within industries and companies that value sustainability and reduced energy costs as part of their business model. Tom Corbett will work to:
-- "Encourage investment and innovation in low carbon infrastructure, such as smart grid, natural gas, renewable, nuclear, biomass, to allow new and existing business to operate with a lower carbon footprint and make them more competitive in the global economy.
-- "Focus on Pennsylvania’s historic core communities as “smart cities” and “smart towns” with an emphasis on brownfield redevelopment, mixed-use neighborhoods, walkability, and other infrastructure investments to reinvigorate traditional cities and towns with new job growth and opportunities."
Another part is further developing the state's infrastructure in several areas, among them:
-- "Energy. Pennsylvania is home to the second largest energy resource field in the world with our abundant coal, natural gas, oil and timber and our alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and hydroelectric facilities. Tom Corbett believes that it is time to harness our energy potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make energy affordable for all Pennsylvanians. He believes that we must blend our diverse portfolio of energy resources with a common-sense environmental policy that will help to reduce pollution and preserve our open spaces. As we work to grow Pennsylvania’s energy resources, such as the Marcellus Shale, Tom Corbett will work to expand our infrastructure to ensure that our energy resources can get to market, allowing the state to compete in the global marketplace.
-- "Water & Sewer. Having reliable water delivery and wastewater infrastructure is a critical component of promoting economic development. Pennsylvania draws its water from resources including more than 83,000 miles of waterways, including more than 100 lakes and nearly 400 rivers. A unique system of underground aquifers and natural wetlands supplement the Commonwealth’s ability to provide abundant potable water to serve both residential and industrial needs. With over 1,000 businesses having current state permits to operate under the discharge elimination system, Pennsylvania is prepared to act as a partner with entrepreneurs to serve water delivery and elimination needs while safeguarding the commonwealth’s environmental quality. Tom Corbett believes that Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority provides critical funding and programs to support Pennsylvania’s water and wastewater systems, and he will work to partner with local governments to ensure that their infrastructure needs are being met. Responsible stewardship of Pennsylvania’s water resources will be necessary to preserve our quality of life and continue to provide ample delivery capacity for Pennsylvania’s business community."
A copy of Corbett's plan is available online.
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