The job of your state representative is to act as a trustee of the environment.
Pennsylvania State Constitution. Article 1, Section 27
"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."
This. Upholding our Pennsylvania Constitution.
Ever since Christina Sappey announced her candidacy, she has strongly advocated for upholding the environmental protections mandated in the Pennsylvania State Constitution to ensure that the next generation of Pennsylvanians in Chester County will inherit a safe, healthy environment. Christina has lived in Chester County for over 25 years and, in her words, has an "incredible love of place" for this area. She believes in a science-based environmental policy and stands for:
Funding the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A budget is representative of an elected official's priorities. Christina will fight to ensure that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is properly funded after being chronically underfunded for decades. Currently, there are only 22 employees handling permitting in the DEP, which is insufficient to service all of Pennsylvania. There are opportunities for machine learning and automation to be used within the DEP to make permitting and enforcement processes more efficient and effective.
Passing a gas severance tax. Pennsylvania is one of two states that allows the natural gas industry to take and profit from its natural resources, leaving behind potentially dangerous situations for Pennsylvanians to pay for and clean up. Christina supports a fair and meaningful gas severance tax.
Championing renewable energy. Christina is committed to meeting guidelines set in the Clean Power Plan. While in office she will strongly support policies that champion and incentivize renewable energy production, distribution, and research throughout Pennsylvania. In terms of energy and the environment, this is where having an "and" and not "or" philosophy to governing is critical. Economic competitiveness and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive, and the renewable energy industry is one such example of environmentalism creating jobs.
Curbing plastic pollution. Christina supports working with environmental advocates and businesses to limit plastic bags and other single-use plastics.
Protecting open space. Christina believes that open space is one of the things that makes Chester County a unique place to call home. Open space preservation keeps costs at the local level down and helps maintain healthy ecosystems.
Promoting sustainable industries in Chester County. As we work towards carbon reduction goals, there is an opportunity to create businesses – such as a carbon capture industry – that creates jobs and growth, while complimenting environmental stewardship. Promoting sustainable and environmentally-friendly industries will also allow Chester County to retain top talent, as 74% of the millennial workforce will prioritize working for a companies that support environmental stewardship (Talent Economy). Another industry that benefits from sustainable practices is the agricultural industry, which requires the maintenance of high-quality air and water sources for their produce.
There is also a unique and innovative opportunity for machine learning and robotic process automation with regard to permitting, as mentioned previously. Chester County can be home to environmental technology innovation and support services for both the government and private sector businesses.
Christina also believes that we need to have a balance between energy/environmental start-ups and the agricultural industries that are already here. She will promote policies that support both of these sustainable industries.
Supporting public transportation. Christina believes that funding the maintenance and infrastructure for public transportation and multi-modal transportation throughout Pennsylvania is critical in decreasing fossil fuels.
Running a sustainable campaign and office. Christina’s campaign is committed to limiting usage of single-use plastics (i.e. no balloons, plastic bags, or plastic dishware), using recycled materials, and prioritizing digital communications in lieu of paper. When elected, Christina will continue these green practices in both Harrisburg and Chester County.