Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A cleaner puff of Pennsylvania is on the way

"Pennsylvania makes lots of power from old coal plants -- so much that our pollution from these plants is more than from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and part of Maryland combined. "

That disturbing statistic comes from Thomas Tuffey, Ph.D., director of The PennFuture Center for Energy, Enterprise and the Environment in an op-ed piece promoting wind energy that appears in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

But Tuffey writes to praise Pennsylvania, not to bury it. He reports that the Keystone State's efforts to develop wind farms "is bringing in good-paying manufacturing jobs... and producing thousands of new jobs and millions in investment in just a few years."

That's good environmental news--not only for Pennsylvania but also for downwind states like New Jersey and Delaware.

Despite its inventory of old coal plants, Pennsylvania is way out ahead of New Jersey and neighboring states in the development of wind power. The Keystone State has the advantage of more lightly populated, windy mountain ranges than the Garden State but strong encouragement and financial support from Governor Ed Rendell has benefited the wind industry most.

So far, New Jersey has only a few wind turbines operating in Atlantic City but the state is reviewing competing plans from private companies for large-scale wind farms off its coast.

In a state where NIMBYites hold sway, that's probably their best-hoped-for location.


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