After the General Assembly punted on House Bill 2405 back in late June , the administration of retiring Governor Ed Rendell (photo), led by his Secretary of Environmental Protection, John Hanger, a growing number of lawmakers, and the fledgling solar industry serving the Commonwealth, now are rallying behind solar legislation in the closing ‘legislative days’ of  this year’s General Assembly. Governor Rendell today signaled he is willing to sign what had been the solar provisions of House Bill 2405 — or something close to them — before the General Assembly finishes its scheduled work for 2010, probably in mid-October.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is limited to this his second term
 
State Rep. Eugene DePasquale is promoting a greener Pennsylvania in his campaign for re-election.

So why now and not back in June? 1) the solar legislation is not part of a bill that would have affected the powerful coal industry and logically, should not draw the ire of any significant lobbying organization unless they’re out to kill any and all renewables; 2) Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio and New York will have more robust commitments to solar by this time next year and Pennsyvlania needs to act to keep up or jump back into the lead in the regioinal sweepstakes for sustainable solar jobs, economic development and private, clean energy investment capital.       

Watch out for efforts to classify electricity from nuclear power plants as “renewable.” Nuclear advocates almost got away with it in Arizona back in February and briefly tried similarly in Pennsylvania by amending 2405.

One of many key players in support of solar is Rep. Eugene DePasquale (second photo), whose re-election campaign this fall is focused on boosting PA’s green economy. 

 Keep an eye on this blog for updates.  We at Standard Solar welcome feedback and what you’re hearing about the bill’s progress, its opponents and supporters. Simply email Standard Solar’s policy chief at jim.pierobon@standardsolar.com .         

P.S. We could sure use the Nittany Lions’ offensive line to help get us into the endzone. Anybody have an such contacts in Happy Valley? How about a Penn State professor who supports more solar energy in the Commonwealth?