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To the Editor:

Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works took up the Clean Jobs and American Power Act. While the nation is still very much focused on the fight over health care reform, this bill is just as important to our future. Sen. Arlen Specter is part of the Environment and Public Works committee, placing Pennsylvania at the center of the clean energy and climate change debate. Our state ranks third in green-collar jobs with over 38,700, and fifth in the nation in clean-energy businesses with nearly 3,000. If the Senate approves the Boxer-Kerry bill, these numbers will only grow. An investment of $6.1 billion in our state would create more than 70,000 jobs within two years — jobs that would be sustained and kept in Pennsylvania improving, quality of life for not just us, but for future generations. The passage of this bill will help the Keystone State’s working families and protect its rich natural environment. Our University has been recognized by the EPA as the top green power purchaser in the nation among institutions of higher learning. It is time for Pennsylvania to follow our example and become a nationwide leader in renewable energy purchases. Pennsylvania is counting on Sen. Specter to take the lead in passing this bill. We can’t wait.

Christiana Dietzen

The author is the co-director of the Penn Environmental Group and a College junior

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