Response to HB1950 and Associated Amendments

For Immediate Release: November 14, 2011 

Renew Growing Greener Coalition Response to HB1950 and Associated Amendments

 (HARRISBURG, PA) The Renew Growing Greener Coalition today issued the following statement from Executive Director Andrew Heath in response to House Bill 1950 and its associated amendments:

“As the House debates the finer points of House Bill 1950, the Renew Growing Greener Coalition is encouraged by the provision that dedicates 25 percent of the revenues from the Oil and Gas Lease fund to partially replenish the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

“We also recognize and appreciate the inclusion of money for the Environmental Stewardship Fund in amendments proposed by Reps. DiGirolamo, George, Hanna and Quinn. However, we urge the House to pass a final measure that matches or exceeds the funding levels that are contained in the original bill.”

Growing Greener is a bipartisan program established in 1999 under Governor Tom Ridge and later expanded by Governors Schweiker and Rendell.  Since its establishment, Growing Greener has created a legacy of success, preserving more than 107,000 acres of Pennsylvania’s family farmland, conserving more than 42,300 acres of threatened open space, adding 26,000 acres to state parks and forests, capping more than 2,100 abandoned wells and restoring over 16,000 acres of abandoned mine lands.

Moreover, Growing Greener has contributed and leveraged billions of dollars to the Pennsylvania economy by helping to boost tourism, create jobs and generate revenue.

Yet despite the program’s accomplishments, funding for Growing Greener projects and grants fell from an average of approximately $150 million per year for the last six years to $27.3 million in the current state budget, more than an 80 percent reduction.

About the Renew Growing Greener Coalition The Renew Growing Greener Coalition is the Commonwealth’s largest coalition of conservation, recreation and environmental organizations representing more than 350 organizations and government entities.  For more information on the Coalition, visit www.RenewGrowingGreener.org.

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