This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Pennsylvania State Representative Gene DiGirolamo:
What is unique about protecting Pennsylvania’s natural resources and the resources in your district?
In the 18th Legislative District, I am concerned with protecting our open space and preserving the outdoor recreational and tourist opportunities the people of this community have always enjoyed. Statewide, we also have the Marcellus Shale industry that needs our attention, especially when it comes to safeguarding both our natural resources and consumers. As always, when I’m considering legislation in Harrisburg, clean air and clean water are a top priority.
As a parent and grand-parent, are you concerned about the effects of air pollution and climate change on your children and the children of your state? What concerns you the most?
Climate change is a real problem that warrants our attention. Yes, I am concerned, as a parent, grandparent and steward of tax payer dollars. These are issues that will impact us for generations to come, and we owe it to our kids and grandkids to give them the proper attention.
In your opinion, what are some common-sense solutions to combating the impacts of climate change and air pollution?
I think that it’s important to continue to look at expanding our investment in renewable sources of energy. This can be done in a number of ways, including an expansion of tax credits for homeowners to incentivize transition to solar. In my district, and across the Commonwealth, I also believe it would be smart to encourage homebuilders and developers to offer green, renewable energy solutions for new homes and neighborhood developments. In October, I joined the Evangelical Environmental Network and Moms Clean Air Force in Harrisburg to call on Governor Wolf to create a plan for 100% clean electricity from renewable resources by 2030. An investment in a clean energy future is important to keep our children, grandchildren, and future generations of Pennsylvanians safe and healthy.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important, and how can efforts to address clean air and climate change be achieved in our current political climate?
Bipartisan efforts are always crucial to effect positive change. Developing sources of clean energy, growing solar energy, and finding ways to protect our natural resources should be every citizen’s concern. Environmental groups need to make these issues known to the legislature and do everything they can to offer education on these important initiatives.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with Moms Clean Air Force’s one million members?
Simply that I hear your concerns about climate change and clean air, and I take them very seriously. Just this past legislative session, I received the highest rating of any House Republican on the environmental scorecard and that means a great deal to me. I will continue to work hard and do my part to ensure a safer environment for all Pennsylvanians.
A lifelong resident of Bensalem, Bucks County, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo is serving his 12th term in the state House. For the 2017-18 session, he is serving a fourth term as chairman of the House Human Services Committee, a position where he can effectively continue his advocacy of issues relating to drug and alcohol treatment and prevention and the devastating opioid and heroin abuse crisis, physical and intellectual disabilities, and individuals with mental illness. Rep. DiGirolamo is also a member of the House Consumer Affairs Committee. Rep. DiGirolamo resides in Bensalem with his wife, Donna. They have two married sons, Gene Jr. and Anthony; two daughters, Gina and Mary; and five grandchildren.