Fiedler bill to modernize Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority unanimously approved by committee

HARRISBURG, June 11 — Today, H.B. 2338, introduced by state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., was approved unanimously by the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee.

The bill would update the duties and powers of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, which was chartered in 1982 with the purpose of financing energy and energy-related projects. If enacted, H.B. 2338 would enable PEDA to apply for and leverage billions of federal dollars available through the Inflation Reduction Act to incentivize investments in Pennsylvania clean-energy projects.

With the federal government now implementing the $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the $783 billion Inflation Reduction Act, Fiedler said she believes this presents an incredible opportunity for Pennsylvania.

“These federal investments can jumpstart energy production in Pennsylvania, create good local jobs, and reduce energy costs for consumers, but only if we have the right vehicle to seize the funds,” Fiedler said. “PEDA, our state’s public energy financing authority, is well-suited to play this role, but first we must modernize PEDA to ensure it can maximize its role as an energy accelerator and job creator.”

The legislation’s co-prime sponsor, state Rep. Mandy Steele, D-Allegheny, placed the legislation within the context of the state’s long history of energy production.

“Pennsylvania has a long, proud tradition of energy leadership, and it’s critical for us to find a path that will position us to remain a leader in a rapidly changing energy landscape,” Steele said. “This is a smart and efficient way to create economic growth and lower costs for people in all our communities.”

At a June 10 hearing on the bill, Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee Majority Chair Rob Matzie, D-Beaver, emphasized the economic benefits of the legislation.

“This is about jobs, jobs and jobs. We have talked for a long time about the importance of having a diverse, all-in energy portfolio and the job creation and energy independence that brings,” Matzie said. “This bill moves us closer to that goal by positioning us to take advantage of hundreds of billions in federal funding coming to the states. We need to act sooner rather than later. Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel Pennsylvania already has a mechanism in place with PEDA. Now, we just need to make sure the agency is ready to hit the ground running and seize every bit of our share.”

The bill is backed by labor unions, such as the Pennsylvania Building & Construction Trades Council, the Allegheny County Labor Council, IBEW Region 3 and Local 98, and Operating Engineers Local No. 542. It also has the support of environmental groups, including Conservation Voters of PA, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club-PA, PennFuture, and the Pennsylvania chapter of the Clean Air Council.

The bill now heads to the full PA House for consideration.


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