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House Passes Resolution to Study Wind, Other Energy Sources in Pa

Last week the House approved House Resolution 925 sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp by a 181-11 vote.  The Resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission (JSGC) to conduct a study and report on the scale and impact of wind turbines in Pennsylvania.

In a prior action, the resolution was amended in the House Environmental Resources & Energy committee to require the JSGC to review current regulation and similar requirements and repot on the progress of wind energy in relation to the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act.

Several Democrats on the committee opposed the amendment and resolution, with Minority Chair Greg Vitali expressing concern over analyzing energy derived from wind turbines in a “vacuum”.

Rapp said she is not opposed to wind energy. She is concerned that federal regulations on the coal industry could have a negative impact on the grid, in which case, the state needs to know if alternative energies are penetrating the grid and could fill part of the gap left behind when traditional energy sources like coal generating plants are forced to be decommissioned.

Vitali proposed an amendment for the JSGC to provide comparison with other types of energy, providing for a more comprehensive study. The amendment was adopted.

The committee also discussed the option of drafting another resolution to study the grid, or the possibility of holding hearing on grid reliability.