Urban Sustainability Forum: PA Candidates for Governor Share Stances on Sustainability

Political races, like politics itself, often become a rushed, scattered jumble of words, promises and thumbs-ups. Commitments and innovative ideas come and go so quickly that they become a blur, and before we know it we're standing in a voting booth with no idea who the candidates are and what they stand for.

Environmentalism and sustainability issues are especially important topics in this year’s race for Governor, and fortunately the Academy of Natural Sciences’ upcoming Urban Sustainability Forum is going to help break it all down, The Academy will host the candidates on April 15 for a “Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Urban Sustainability.” During the two hour reception and program each candidate will make his/her positions on environmental, sustainability and natural resource issues known. Confirmed candidates include Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, Allgheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Auditor General for Pennsylvania Jack Wagner.

Keep reading a few know-before-you-go facts on confirmed candidates. 

Joe Hoeffel

- Seeks to create more “green” jobs for Pennsylvanians.

- Was given a 95 percent rating by the League of Conservation Voters.

- Hoeffel plans to push for a severance tax on natural gas production to fund reclamation and environmental programs.

- Would like to implement state of the art pollution control devices to decrease the environmental impact of fuel sources such as coal.

- Supports renewable energy sources and the development of cellulosic ethanol from sources like wood chips and agricultural waste.

- Would like to implement more Green Building and increase PA’s Energy Construction Standard.

- Would like to protect clean water by pushing the PA Assembly to enact laws requiring buffers of at least 100-feet along streams in the state and renew PA’s clean water bond referendum.

Dan Onorato

- Would like to create new jobs in energy-related fields like manufacturing, weatherization and Marcellus shale development.

- Supports the extraction of natural gas from Marcellus shale.

- Hopes to increase the amount of renewable energy required by PA’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.

- Would like to deploy a “Green collar workforce” to upgrade and weatherize homes and businesses and make PA a national leader in “green” jobs and businesses.

- Seeks to develop a “Plan for Agriculture” to assist farmers in lowering costs and creating alternative energy.

- Would like to use community colleges and other higher education institutes to prepare workers for “Green collar jobs”.

- Would like to create “Pennsylvania’s Green Jobs Corps,” a weatherization workforce.

- In support of the preservation and enhancement of PA’s water, air and land. 

Jack Wagner

- Hopes to create energy innovation by bringing green energy manufacturing jobs back to PA.

- Supporter of the “Growing Greener” programs and funding of the Department of Environmental Protection and PA’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

-Would like to make PA a leader in energy production.

-Wants to invest in a number of infrastructure programs including the building of a high-speed rail that connects PA, New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. As well as making the PA Turnpike the first multi-fuel road and convert state government vehicles and school busses to compressed natural gas.