Governor Ed Rendell is urging lawmakers to triple Pennsylvania’s solar energy requirements. He wants legislation approved this fall that would require that 1.5 percent of all energy produced in the commonwealth come from solar sources by 2022.
He says the requirement would insure demand and help solar energy companies attract investors, and get their operations up and running.
"To put it in the most simple terms, when you’re building a shopping center, the way you get money from banks is to show them signed leases. Once you’ve got a hundred percent lease, there’s not a bank anywhere, when they see what the rates are, who won’t loan you money."
But like so many other issues the departing governor is pressing for, the measure likely won’t make it through the General Assembly.
But spokesman Erik Arneson Senate Republican leaders are cool to the proposal, and say it likely won’t pass. The problem is, time is running out on the two-year legislative session...
"The biggest problem is that we have a lot of competing priorities from a lot of people, including the outgoing governor, that they’d like to see us accomplish in the short time that remains before the elections."
There’s only a few weeks left on the legislative calendar this fall, and top senators say they won’t gavel back into session after November’s elections.
So, it appears like the gas tax increase the governor is pushing for, Rendell’s solar initiative will likely go the way of the smokeless tobacco tax and sales tax overhaul he advocated for earlier this year: it won’t be passed into law.