Bellefonte, in Centre County, votes to shelve its Climate Action Plan
Bellefonte borough council voted 5-4 Monday night to suspend its Climate Action Plan, which outlines goals and methods for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and moving to renewable energy.
Council had approved the plan in September 2020. It set specific targets — like having half of Bellefonte’s electricity be renewable by 2035.
Borough council member Randy Brachbill questioned where the money would come from to reach all of the goals.
“I don’t want Bellefonte to suffer sending money out that we can’t afford to send out," Brachbill said.
Several council members said they’ve heard from residents who are against it, and that the environmental targets sounded like mandates.
“I got email after email after email after email from people in my district asking me to not spend another breath on this, and please work on the things that are important to us as to why we put you in office," said council member Kent Bernier.
But council member Deborah Cleeton defended the plan and said it was a misconception that the plan has mandates, rather than ideas.
“For us to be complacent about this is being very short-sighted," she said.
Nancy Perkins was one of five community members who spoke in support of the plan during the meeting. She said a lot of work had already been done and they needed to build on that.
“I see the environment here as our best asset. We live in a beautiful community," Perkins said.
The vote was also to suspend the borough's environmental advisory board.