Thursday, October 4, 2012


Due to the short legislative session before they break for election, it is clear neither the Senate nor House will bring up the solar bill for a vote before session ends. There are  only a few  legislative calendar days scheduled:  four days left on the Senate calendar and ten in the House and not all days will be voting days. This doesn’t leave adequate time to pass either HB 1580 or SB 1350 in both Houses and get it before the Governor for his signature. There also remains the question as to whether the Governor would sign the bill  even if it did pass.  I don’t imagine this is coming as a surprise to most people reading this.  Representative Chris Ross (Chester) and Senator David Argall (Berks etc.) deserve our appreciation for trying to overcome the leadership void and move the bill. 

So what does that mean for PASEIA?  We know people have lost their jobs in solar and are trying to find new ones, diversify their skills so they can stay in Pennsylvania or have decided to move their business elsewhere, at least until the market catches up here.  PASEIA will still seek opportunities to promote solar in 2013 and beyond although for the time being only through non-legislative avenues.  In the meantime, it’s election time in Pennsylvania and the nation and everyone is aware the Presidential race is on but many are unaware that all of the state House and one-half the Senate are up for re-election.  Has your legislator supported solar and PASEIA’s efforts to save solar in Pennsylvania? 

Also now is a good time to help shape PASEIA’s agenda for 2013-14.  Don’t let them win.  Stay involved.  Creative thinking will be needed to carve out opportunities, even small victories help keep solar going despite the set-back.

One thing we are very excited about is that very soon MSEIA/PASEIA will be releasing a detailed report on the Benefits of Solar in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, by Richard Perez, Ben Norris and Tom Hoff - prepared by Clean Power Research.  This study will be invaluable as we use it to educate legislators, public officials and the general public of the quantitative value of implementing solar PV technology, which results in a huge impact to rate payers and tax payers in both states.

Maureen Mulligan and Ron Celentano