This is the report of the Joint State government Commission Task Force on 21st Century Energy Policy for Pennsylvania. House Resolution 224 of 2001 (Pr.'s No. 2109) directed the Commission to establish a working group to develop an energy strategy for the Commonwealth that promotes the efficient use of energy by those who use foreign petroleum and to promote the development of new sources of petroleum and alternatives to petroleum products within the Commonwealth. The working group was also directed to evaluate the strategy's effects upon the environment and economy of the Commonwealth. The Commission was directed to report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives as soon as possible. Prior to its initial meeting, the working group was given the name Task Force on 21st Century Energy Policy for Pennsylvania.
The task force, chaired by Representative Ellen M. Bard of Montgomery County, consists of representatives of the petroleum, natural gas, coal, electric power, fuel cell and alternative fuel industries; an energy conservation consultant, representatives of environmental organizations, weatherization providers, the Farm Bureau, the Soybean Board, Philadelphia's energy office, a school district, industrial energy consumers, mass transit and the American Automobile Association; representatives of petroleum marketers, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the United Mine Workers of America, professors in the fields of energy, economics, research and agriculture; representatives of the trucking and railroad industries, representatives of the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, General Services, and Transportation; representatives of the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; and three members of the House of Representatives.
To accomplish its work, the task force was organized into the following committees: Transportation Sector (Joseph J. Wydra, Chair), Commercial/Industrial Sector (Duane Feagley, Chair), Residential Sector (Dan Griffiths, Chair), Government Sector (Thomas J. Rados, Chair), Maximizing Energy Efficiency (Ann Jones Gerace, Chair), Maximizing Indigenous Renewables (John Hanger, Chair) and Maximizing Indigenous Fossil Fuels (Harold H. Schobert, Chair).
The task force reviewed statistics on the supply and consumption of energy in the Commonwealth, developed criteria for discussing and evaluating issues involved in creating an energy policy, focused on ways to displace foreign petroleum in the Commonwealth and reviewed legislation and statutes from other states. In addition, task force members were invited to sponsor or attend site visits (four such visits were held Statewide and are described in further detail later in this report), and three public hearings were held to gather further information for the task force to use in developing its recommendations. A summary of each public hearing is also provided later in this report.
This report reflects the work of the task force as conducted over ten meetings, including an organizational meeting which was held on September 21, 2001. It does not reflect unanimity on all points. Although most recommendations were supported by a consensus of opinion, some recommendations were adopted by majority vote. Participation on the task force should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the members of the task force of all the findings, recommendations and conclusions in this report.