PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf promised an environmental group Wednesday night that he would launch a third round of the state's "Growing Greener" program if he is elected.
His remarks to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council came after Republican Gov. Tom Corbett praised the group for its efforts to balance the conservation of natural resources with economic development. "It's not all one or all the other," Corbett said.
The awards ceremony at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia was the first joint appearance for the candidates, and they did not directly criticize each other. It comes a week after President Barack Obama announced a plan to reduce the nation's carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent over 25 years by ordering cuts in pollution discharged by America's power plants, primarily those fueled by coal.
Corbett's campaign has heaped scorn on Obama's proposal as a "war on coal" that would damage Pennsylvania's coal industry.
Wolf said Wednesday he'd consider having Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative if he determined it would not adversely affect the state. The initiative also seeks to reduce emissions from power plants.
Wolf's campaign said he believes global warming is already affecting human health and the environment and has promised that his administration would set "meaningful" emission-reduction targets for greenhouse gases. Corbett has not set such targets.
There is also considerable discussion in the Legislature over whether to increase taxes on Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry to help make up a $1 billion-plus gap in Corbett's budget plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.