By Chrissy Suttles
Beaver County Times
July 29, 2020 – PennFuture on Tuesday released a report outlining policies climate activists said would amount to $2.8 billion in statewide investments and as many as 389,000 new or preserved jobs.
Leading climate activists want Pennsylvania policymakers to consider a more sustainable approach to the Keystone State’s economic recovery.
Following months of record-high unemployment, PennFuture on Tuesday released a 50-page “green stimulus” report outlining policies the group said would amount to $2.8 billion in statewide investment and as many as 389,000 jobs — including more than 37,000 “shovel-ready” positions.
The road map, in turn, would leverage Pennsylvania’s clean energy and low-carbon industries to reduce pollution, promote a cleaner environment and avoid state budget cuts.
PennFuture’s platform builds on the former Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal public works program that employed millions during the Great Depression. A modern version of the program is popular among environmentalists and some economists.
The group said a Pennsylvania Conservation and Economic Recovery Corps would employ tens of thousands and improve parks, trails and other natural resources.
“Pennsylvania is in a unique spot to do this on it’s own,” said PennFuture executive vice president Matthew Stepp. “We don’t have to wait for federal policymakers.”
Workers would plug abandoned drilling wells, maintain parks, habitats and green stormwater infrastructure, and beautify Main Streets. The state would hire at least 15,000 unemployed Pennsylvanians in the first year for six-month terms, which could be extended based on need.
Gov. Tom Wolf could convene a statewide Green Recovery Summit of local and county officials to develop a sustainable economic recovery framework, creating a priority list of clean infrastructure projects.
Policies identified in the report tackle both short-term recovery and long-term economic strength, Stepp said.
“There are a lot of policies here that have existing bills with bipartisan support, which is good because there’s a foundation for the Legislature to build on,” he said. Continue reading PennFuture ‘Green Stimulus’: Public Works Program Is Key to Rebound