Governor Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf Recognize Pennsylvania’s Environmental Investments During Earth Day Virtual Celebration  

April 22, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf led Pennsylvania agencies and commissions in a virtual celebration of Earth Day 2022 for middle and high school students, hosted by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence. The global 2022 Earth Day theme, Investing in the Planet, focuses on engaging everyone from citizens to businesses to governments to accelerate solutions to combat climate change.  

The full event is available on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence website.  

“Earth Day is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on the importance of the natural world around us and rededicate ourselves to caring for the planet,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “I hope that today’s presentation inspires the students of Pennsylvania and showcases the important role of government in addressing the impacts of climate change.”

The event included learning activities from the Pennsylvania departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Education (PDE), and Agriculture (PDA), as well as the Game Commission. A virtual exhibition hall includes content from the agencies, the Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) and external organizations.  

“On the day we celebrate our planet and everything it provides, we must remember that there are steps we can take each day to be better stewards of our resources,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “We need a healthy planet for the sake of the parks and forests so many people enjoy, as well as for the air we breathe, the water we drink and for the overall health of our ecosystem. That cannot get lost as we work to restore our earth.”  

The Wolf Administration has pushed for numerous environmental investments to fight the effects of climate change. Most recently, Governor Wolf has proposed using federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to invest $450 million in the Growing Greener conservation and recreation program, as well as for agriculture conservation programs. After experiencing record-breaking rainfall and flooding events this past year, this program would make Pennsylvania more resilient in the face of more extreme and frequent weather events caused by climate change. It would support our economy, enhance our communities, and improve quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. 

“Earth Day is one of my favorite days, because it is a day that we celebrate one thing we all have in common – Earth!” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We’re investing in the future of clean water and fresh air every day, and I hope that you will join us in investing in our future. Think of things you can do to help clean up your house, your neighborhood, or your school. Try using less electricity, or taking fewer trips in the car. And if the weather is nice, get outside and enjoy some fresh air – and let’s make every day Earth Day!”

In 2019, the governor established the GreenGov Executive Order, which requires Pennsylvania to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050, and the GreenGov Council to improve energy efficiency across Commonwealth agencies, reducing Pennsylvania’s climate change contributions and saving taxpayers money. DEP has released strategies to lower greenhouse gas emissions through increased solar power energy and increased use of electric and alternative fuel vehicles. In the three years since the first GreenGov Council report was published, commonwealth agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction have reduced energy usage by 12.3 percent for a savings of more than $8 million. 

Additionally, through the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA), the commonwealth has made an $89.9 million investment in 10 projects to renovate state facilities with energy efficiency measures that once complete, will result in carbon dioxide emissions being cut by approximately 17,000 tons which is the equivalent of more than 37,000 trees planted annually, removing over 3,100 cars off the road yearly and the annual energy usage of 1,500 homes. In addition, the completed projects will produce $4.6 million in savings annually. 

The program enables the commonwealth to take on energy efficiency projects at state facilities paying for them over time with the annual savings from reduced utility consumption, rather than using commonwealth funds for upfront capital investments. 

The Wolf Administration has also taken numerous steps to make the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence more environmentally friendly, including the installation of rain barrels, solar panels, ground-source heat pumps, a rain garden and more.

Pennsylvanians are encouraged to visit the 2022 Virtual Earth Day Exhibit Hall to continue engaging with Earth Day activities and organizations. The full Earth Day event, the exhibit hall and more on Earth Day 2022 can be found at here.  

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