Busy Week Ahead for Environmental Policy

April 13, 2018By: John Walliser
PEC Blog

Next week the Pennsylvania Senate and House will be in session, and a number of bills that affect the environment will be under consideration. They include:

The Good
John Walliser, Senior VP, Legal & Government Affairs

John Walliser, Senior VP, Legal & Government Affairs

House Bill 1446 – PEC Supports

The House is expected to take up HB1446, which would set goals for expanding transportation electrification (which supports electric vehicles) by at least 50% more than 2030 market projections, and direct the state’s electric investor-owned utilities and charging service providers to create and implement plans (i.e. regional roadmaps) that will showcase how they plan to build out charging infrastructure – with a particular focus on low-income communities and multifamily dwellings.

 

Senate Bill 234 – PEC Supports

On Tuesday (April 18th) the House Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing on SB234, which would allow local government entities, such as county economic development agencies and municipalities, to unlock clean energy potential through what’s commonly known as “Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)” financing. PACE is an important tool for increasing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green infrastructure projects in the commercial sector because it ties both the value and the cost of improvements to the property, rather than the owner. This removes a significant barrier to energy improvements as the repayment responsibility, as well as the benefits of the improvement, will remain with the new owner if the business must move before receiving its full return on investment.

 

The Bad

Senate Bill 1088 – PEC Opposes

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is expected to vote on SB1088, which would significantly roll back environmental protection standards for the conventional oil and gas industry. If it were to become law, Pennsylvania would be the only state in the country to comprehensively weaken its law for wells that utilize horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, including removing chemical disclosure requirements.

 

“Regulatory Reform” Legislation – PEC Opposes

The House is expected to vote on a suite of bills that would compromise environmental regulations and permits, and put politics ahead of science and law.

 

Needs Improvement


House Bill 544

This legislation expands liability protections for landowners who allow recreational access and use on their property at no charge. PEC supports this effort, but the bill was recently amended in a Senate Committee to remove language that would have provided additional protections for organizations that provide trail maps, signage, and maintenance. We are working to have this language reinserted into the bill before full consideration by the Senate.

Click here to contact your legislators.

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