Otten, Guenst, Krajewski elected to lead Pennsylvania Legislative Climate Caucus

EXTON, Jan. 13 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, was elected this week to serve as House chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Climate Caucus for the 2021-2022 legislative session.

House members of the Climate Caucus also elected first-term legislators Rep. Nancy Guenst, D-Montgomery, to serve as vice chair and Rep. Rick Krajewski, D-Phila., to serve as secretary. Otten will serve as co-chair of the bicameral, bipartisan caucus with senate chair Sen. Steve Santarsiero.

The Climate Caucus seeks to uphold the environmental rights granted under the Pennsylvania Constitution, raise awareness on legislation, appropriations and related matters surrounding environmental justice, the need for a renewable energy future, and the urgency of climate change as our most existential threat.

“I am thrilled to collaborate with this talented group of legislators on our collective goals and to elevate climate issues as they relate to public health and safety, our state and local economies and the future of our planet,” Otten said. “Climate change is a leading international issue of our time, and I am committed to the intersectional work of addressing the many areas of our state government impacted by climate change and moving Pennsylvania forward.”

"It’s an honor to serve as vice chair of our Climate Caucus with the leadership of chair Danielle Friel Otten,” Guenst said. “By ensuring that legislative proposals and policies are founded in evidence-based, peer-reviewed science, the members of this caucus can help to ensure that we and our colleagues are making informed decisions in the best interests of the environment and the citizens of Pennsylvania.”

“I congratulate Danielle on her election as chair, and I am really excited to work with her and with the members of the Climate Caucus to advance these important issues,” Krajewski said. “I am eager to bring my organizing background and skills to this role, help to build a proactive and engaging caucus, and work with the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to ensure that progressive climate viewpoints are heard and considered.”

Otten, who serves on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and is an active participant in the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, has been a consistent voice for climate justice and environmental rights in the House, working to advance sustainability at the local and state levels. In her first term, she introduced legislation to reduce food waste, to incentivize composting, and to hold polluters accountable.