June 29, 2010
I wish I had better news to share on the fate of House bill 2405. Despite our efforts, the bill will not pass before summer legislative recess. Moments ago, it was announced that the House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, and the Governor agreed to a budget which will allow the legislators to pass a budget on time. In turn, that means that it is not likely legislators will stay around to pass any pending legislation not associated with the budget including HB 2405.
Many of you followed the ups and down of this bill and its predecessor (HB 80) over the last year and one-half and understand when I tell you the bill got amended to death, not once, but twice. The coal industry, the PA. Chamber of Commerce, most of the utilities, the Commonwealth Foundation and their allies all fed the disinformation campaign carried out by their legislative allies in the House. We knew we were up against powerful, well-funded allies but we have prevailed on three solar bills in the recent past and my hope was we could do it again.
We owe much to our allies at DEP; particularly John Hanger, Andrew Place, Robert Maiden, Dan Griffiths and Paula Sviben and in the legislature; Representatives Eugene DePasquale, Greg Vitali and Chris Ross, and in the Senate; Senator Ted Erickson.
I hope you will take the time to thank them. They did an amazing amount of work on this bill.