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Environment & Energy

A Third Of The Way Through Its Timeline, Alternative Energy Portfolio Delivers Results

In 2004, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was in the second year of his administration. The Democrat wanted to jump-start the state's alternate energy landscape, which at that point, was nonexistent. He sent out that mandate to his department heads and to the State House and Senate.

"We relied almost exclusively on – in the beginning of the last decade – on two things. Nuclear power and coal-fired power plants. Not even gas," said John Hanger who served as Rendell's Secretary of Environmental Protection from 2009 to 2010.

The Rendell bill was dubbed the "Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act" and it laid out a 15 year timetable, where energy companies would be required to purchase a set amount of power from sources like wind, solar, hydroelectric and biomass.

It's been five years since the passage of the act and hanger believes is has had an impact.

"The proof is available to the human eye. If you travel across the Pennsylvania Turnpike, heading west to Pittsburgh, looking to your left or right, you will now see wind farms. Pennsylvania today has 16 wind farms, and four more under construction," said Hanger.

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