Thursday, March 14, 2019

Auditor General DePasquale Calls For State Action On Climate Change, Brace For New Costs

On March 14, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale held his first public hearing on Pennsylvania’s response to the climate change crisis, which is the focus of a special report he is developing.
“The climate crisis will disrupt our economy and create unforeseen burdens on taxpayers,” DePasquale said. “Considering how little serious work is being done about it in Washington, it’s time for states to make certain they’re doing all they can to be prepared.”
DePasquale announced last December that his special report will focus on state government’s response to climate change and steps that can better prepare the state for the future, noting that the problem will impact communities of all sizes.
“Beyond the safety risks posed by severe weather and infrastructure damage, a changing climate will impact health, transportation, agriculture, forestry, tourism – a whole host of issues,” DePasquale said.
DePasquale’s hearing was held at the Stuckeman Family Building on the Campus of Penn State. Witnesses scheduled to testify included:
-- Dr. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University
-- Robert Altenburg, Energy Center Director, PennFuture
-- Steve Miller, Vice Chair, Ferguson Township Supervisors
-- Alan Sam, Sustainability Coordinator, Borough of State College
-- Richard Schuettler, Executive Director, PA Municipal League
-- Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director, PA Association of Sustainable Agriculture
-- Grant Gulibon, Regulatory Affairs Director, PA Farm Bureau
“We’re not here to debate whether the climate crisis exists; it’s already happening,” DePasquale added. “I want our state to be ready for what the federal government’s own experts predict is going to occur.”
A federal report issued last fall said that in the Northeast region, climate change poses threats to public health and safety from extreme heat and flooding; raises concerns about damage to aging power, water, sewer and transportation systems; and will impact rural communities, farming, forestry and tourism by altering ecosystems.
DePasquale will conduct two additional hearings as part of developing the special report, which is expected to be complete this summer.
Visit Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s website for more information on audits he is engaged in.
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