Vitali reappointed Democratic chairman of House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware, was reappointed by Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, to serve as Democratic chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for the 2015-16 legislative session. Vitali served as Democratic chairman of the committee during the 2013-14 legislative session.

In addition to advancing energy and environmental legislation, the committee oversees the state departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources.

“This appointment puts me in a position to be a strong voice for good environmental policy,” Vitali said. "I thank Democratic leadership for their trust and I look forward to working on environmental initiatives.”

Vitali plans to introduce five bills to help protect the environment. The bills would:

  • Require electric distribution companies, such as PECO and PPL, to buy more of their power from wind, solar and other clean energy sources.
  • Require rents and royalties from oil and gas leases on commonwealth-owned land to be used exclusively for conservation, recreation, dams or flood control projects.
  • Provide $25 million per year to the now-defunct PA Sunshine Solar Program. The solar program has provided rebates to homeowners and small businesses that install solar systems.
  • Impose a moratorium on additional leasing of state lands for natural gas drilling, exploration or production.
  • Encourage electric and natural gas distribution utilities to implement energy efficiency and conservation plans.

The House has 24 standing committees, each of which has 27 members. These committees are expected to be organized and ready for business on Jan. 20.

Vitali represents the 166th Legislative District, which includes parts of Haverford, Radnor and Lower Merion townships.