Pennsylvania Legacies #210: New Year, New Leadership

Tom Gilbert took over as President of PEC this year, bringing a lifelong passion for the outdoors and decades of experience in environmental work. After giving him a few weeks to settle into his new role, we asked him about his previous accomplishments, his vision for the future, and his guitar skills.

The New Year brought exciting change to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council as we welcomed a new President. Tom Gilbert may be new to PEC, but he’s no stranger to our line of work. 

A Pennsylvania native, Gilbert holds a master’s degree in natural resource planning and management from the University of Vermont and has spent more than three decades working to protect land, water, and air resources throughout the eastern U.S.

Most recently, he served as Co-Executive Director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. Gilbert’s experience has shown him that most people have a deep appreciation for the environment and their communities. Conservation and open space preservation initiatives often receive sweeping public support.

“There’s an understanding and appreciation for how these preserved lands and open spaces really enhance quality of life for our families,” Gilbert said.

At PEC, conservation goes hand-in-hand with recreation. We believe that getting outside is a gateway to stewardship. That was certainly the case for Gilbert, who can trace his career back to a childhood spent skiing in the Poconos and looking for crayfish in the stream behind his house.

“It’s clear that when people have ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation on well-maintained trails and green spaces, and they have good access to clean waterways, they typically develop an appreciation and love for the outdoors, which can translate into active support for stewarding those resources,” Gilbert said. “If we’re going to have a citizenry that values and cares for our natural resources and protection of our environment, it’s critical that they have those opportunities to experience it.”

That’s why Gilbert is excited about DCNR’s investment in developing the state’s outdoor economy, with the creation of the Pennsylvania Office of Outdoor Recreation last year and Shapiro’s recent announcement of $13.5 million toward improving and expanding trails and supporting the Outdoor Corps.

“We’re pleased to see this investment, and we hope to see it increased and sustained over time,” Gilbert said.

Another priority for him is advancing clean energy in Pennsylvania. He has been a leader on energy policy in New Jersey, overseeing a team that helped to enact the state’s landmark Clean Energy Law, which set a course towards 100% clean energy by 2050. He also helped to develop New Jersey’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, one of the most ambitious in the country, which became law in 2018. It requires 35% of the energy sold in New Jersey to come from renewables by 2025, and 50% by 2030.

A similar, though less robust, standard exists in Pennsylvania, but the target was long ago met, underscoring the need to expand it. To that end, Gov. Shapiro has pledged to generate 30% of the Commonwealth’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. Achieving such a goal would not only address climate change but bring economic benefits to Pennsylvania, Gilbert said.

He referenced a report published last month, which found that achieving the 30% standard would spur private investment of $13.1 billion to develop energy projects and create more than 129,000 job-years between 2024 and 2031.

“So moving this policy forward would be a real win for public health, safety and our economy,” Gilbert said.

In all of this work, he wants to make sure PEC remains committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. building on external initiatives like the Circuit Trails Community Grant Program and maintaining an inclusive workplace that attracts and retains a diverse staff. 

He has spent the last several weeks traveling to meet our partners across the Commonwealth. He looks forward to strengthening those connections and forging new ones.

When he isn’t working, Gilbert enjoys hiking, skiing, kayaking — just about anything that gets him outside. He also plays the guitar and, at his last job, performed with some of his coworkers in a “ragtag” band called the Conservation Combo.

Gilbert’s predecessor, Davitt Woodwell, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at PEC’s Western Pennsylvania dinner on May 14. Registration details will be available soon. We hope you can join us for an evening that celebrates victories for outdoor recreation and the environment in western Pennsylvania communities.

Episode Links: 

Josh Raulerson: (00:01)
It is Friday, March 8th, 2024. I’m Josh Raulerson, and this is Pennsylvania Legacies, the podcast for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council Over two months into what’s already been an eventful year at PEC. A few weeks ago, we welcomed a new leader, Tom Gilbert, who replaced past President Davitt Woodwell upon his retirement this year. Tom is the former Co-Executive Director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and a veteran of many successful campaigns to protect and preserve open space across the Northeastern U.S. He’s also been a leader on energy policy, including New Jersey’s ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard, which became law in 2018. Tom officially started at PEC on January 15th based in our Philadelphia office. Since then, he’s been traveling all over the state to meet our staff, funders, partners and stakeholders, and he made some time on his last visit to the Pittsburgh office to sit down for an introductory interview on the Pennsylvania Legacies podcast. Tom, welcome to PEC and to Pennsylvania Legacies. So glad to have you here.

Tom Gilbert: (01:01)
It’s great to be here. 

Josh Raulerson: (01:02)
So before we get into PEC and, and your first few weeks here, let’s get to know you a little bit. I know you’re from Pennsylvania originally and have been living in the Philadelphia area. Tell us a little about yourself, your background growing up in the Commonwealth, and how you got into this line of work. 

Tom Gilbert: (01:18)
Sure. So I grew up in Montgomery and Bucks counties, and when I look back on some of my early experiences in the outdoors in Pennsylvania, I would say that skiing from a young age in the Poconos was, I think one of the ways in which I really developed a love of the outdoors and outdoor recreation. And I was also fortunate to grow up with a stream behind my house and just, you know, doing the things that kids do and, you know, flipping over rocks in the, in the creek and, you know, looking for crayfish. And, and there was some woods behind my house with a trail, and I would, you know, explore the woods and ride my bike with friends. And those are little things, but I think actually those experiences wind up being, you know, big things and really helped to kind of develop that love and appreciation for nature and the desire to protect it. 

Josh Raulerson: (02:17)
Yeah I mean, I, I often ask people that question and almost everybody gives a, an answer that’s kind of like that these formative childhood experiences seem to be a really common element in people’s stories. Looking a little further down the road for you then, when you started work in conservation, what were your first steps into that world and what was that like? 

Tom Gilbert: (02:35)
Sure. So I went to college in Vermont at the University of Vermont, and that only kind of deepened my access to all kinds of outdoor opportunities. And upon graduating from college, I went into a program called Green Corps., which takes recent college graduates and trains them in the skills of organizing and advocacy to make environmental change. And so that was sort of a one, a one-year program that kind of launched me in this direction, and I really never looked back. My first job after that was with the Vermont Natural Resources Council, which is an organization very similar to PEC in many ways. And my job was to mobilize citizens to engage in a, a regional process. At that time that was looking at conservation of the northern forest region, some 26 million acres of forest spanning upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and, and Maine. It was at that point that I realized, this is what I love, this is what I want to do. And I went, actually went back to school at UVM and got my master’s degree in natural resource planning and management. And then I went back into the field, actually returned to my home state of Pennsylvania at that point, and took a job with the Appalachian Mountain Club, working on trail and conservation issues in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Josh Raulerson: (03:56)
And then most recently, you come to us from the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. Can you talk a little bit about that organization, what you were doing there? 

Tom Gilbert: (04:03)
Yeah, so I, at the time I was really looking for an opportunity to work on climate and energy issues. Just very aware as many are, of, you know, the climate crisis upon us and really wanting to, to do some work, you know, related to that, to advance clean energy. And so I had the opportunity to develop a new program at New Jersey Conservation Foundation, which was really looking at preventing poorly planned or unneeded energy infrastructure of various kinds from impacting preserved lands and natural resources. And also on the flip side of that, trying to advance clean energy policies in the state. And was fortunate to have the opportunity to work on a number of really exciting and sort of cutting-edge policies in the state, a new clean energy law that was passed, designed to advance solar development, offshore wind energy efficiency. Got to work on a, a new state energy master plan, which was oriented to move the state towards 100% clean energy by 2050. Got to work on a variety of solar policies and put a real emphasis on how the state could move forward with solar development but being very mindful of the land and natural resource impacts. And so how do we think about siting, how do we, how do we avoid solar development on our best farmland, soils, or prevent the clearing of forests that are storing large amounts of carbon, for example. And so New Jersey was able to put some very strong solar policies in place that had those kinds of siting provisions.

Josh Raulerson: (05:44)
I’m interested in those experiences around energy issues in New Jersey since that state has been a leader in, in a number of areas. One of them is renewable energy portfolio standards, which I know is something you, you worked on. We’re anticipating, sometime in the next few weeks probably, word from Governor Shapiro as to the direction he might take with Pennsylvania’s alternative energy portfolio standards. But you know, as we wait for that shoe to drop, I’m, I’m curious in what your experience was, you know, in New Jersey on this issue, and to whatever extent you can apply those lessons to Pennsylvania. I’m curious about that too. 

Tom Gilbert: (06:18)
Sure. So New Jersey has an existing renewable portfolio standard in statute of 50% renewable energy by 2030. And, you know, that might sound aggressive, but the state is on track to meet that through a combination of in-state solar development, offshore wind, which of course, as a coastal state, New Jersey has a unique opportunity there that Pennsylvania does not, but also by capitalizing on low cost renewable energy resources that are available through New Jersey’s participation in the 13-state PJM regional electric grid, which Pennsylvania is also a part of. In addition to that RPS, Governor Murphy set a target of 100% clean electricity by 2035 through an executive order. And so the Clean Electricity Standard, which is different from a renewable portfolio standard because clean electricity obviously includes renewables, but it can also include other zero carbon sources such as nuclear energy, which provides a large percentage of New Jersey’s electricity and, and which is also the case in Pennsylvania. 

And there’s legislation being considered in New Jersey now to codify that 100 by 35 Clean Electricity Standard and statute. So I believe Pennsylvania’s alternative energy portfolio standard is 8%, and that target’s already been met. But as you noted, Governor Shapiro has pledged to increase that to 30% by 2030, which is a very good start. And in terms of, you know, some of the rationale for, I think, for moving in that direction, of course, climate change is upon us, but also there would be really significant economic benefits to the state. And a very recent analysis by Gable Associates found that implementing that 30 by ’30 standard would bring over $13 billion in economic benefits to the state over the next seven years and create nearly 130,000 jobs. So moving this policy forward would be a real win for, for public health, safety and our economy.

Josh Raulerson: (08:28)
Yeah, it seems like in Governor Shapiro’s mind, these issues are very closely linked. He is very focused on job development and pursuing clean energy in that context. To backtrack a little bit, I know you were at the Trust for Public Lands for a while working on, among other things, I’m sure, local ballot measures, and also at some point in New Jersey, a constitutional amendment focused on funding conservation, open space preservation. These are always fascinating to watch because you go in, or at least from where I stand, sometimes the expectation is this could be a hard sell in some areas. There’s a connotation, there’s a vibe that doesn’t always fly, right? But then you get the result of the public vote on these ballot measures, and very often, you know, you have a groundswell of support for conservation across a whole range of ideological and, you know, demographic profiles. Does that square with what you saw in New Jersey, was that ever surprising to you? What, what do you think is going on there? 

Tom Gilbert: (09:23)
It’s absolutely true, and the results at the ballot box across many different geographies bear that out, that there really is remarkable public support for conservation and open space preservation issues that typically transcend partisan divisions and, and other divisions that arise around so many other issues in, in our society. And at the Trust for Public Land, we did lots of polling, and I had an opportunity to see many, many polls across different jurisdictions to understand public attitudes on, on these issues. And that polling really consistently showed, again, that public support across party and other demographic lines. And some of the reasons for that is that there’s a real public understanding of and support for protecting clean water, especially, which is really so fundamental to to, to life. And people can understand the nexus between conserving land and how that, you know, protects our water quality. There’s an understanding and appreciation for how these preserved lands and open spaces really enhance quality of life for our families. And there’s also an appreciation for the importance of, you know, leaving a legacy for our children and grandchildren, right? And that’s something that really resonates with people that we want to leave the right kind of future for future generations. And these are just shared values, right, that really are embraced by people of all stripes.

Josh Raulerson: (10:54)
Well, under the quality of life column, I think a big piece of that is opportunities to recreate outdoors. And people do that in so many different ways. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why taking care of, of these resources has broad appeal. That was a theme in Governor Shapiro’s budget that was just released earlier this week as we record this among other things, there’s some forward motion on orphan well plugging funding for various programs within DEP and DCNR, things that PEC is very interested in. I’m just curious your reaction to the governor’s budget. I don’t know if you caught his speech on Tuesday, but anything from the budget jump out at you? 

Tom Gilbert: (11:31)
Well, there was definitely good news in Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal for the environment across a number of areas, as you noted. One thing I would highlight is that both the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are slated for pretty significant staff increases, and that’s not always the case. You know, having more capacity to deal with a variety of challenges and opportunities goes a long way just to help understand the, the benefits of those kinds of investments. There was a recent report from the new Office of Outdoor Recreation that found outdoor recreation in the Commonwealth, generates some $17 billion in in annual economic activity, which is quite significant and supports 164,000 jobs. So investing more in trails we know will not only enhance outdoor recreation, um, improve public health and quality of life, some of those values we were just discussing, but it’ll bring significant economic benefits to the state. And so we’re pleased to see this investment and we hope to see it increased and sustained over time. 

Josh Raulerson: (12:37)
You know, I, first of all, I appreciate you being willing to sit in the hot seat all of what, three, four weeks now on the job?

Tom Gilbert: (12:44)

Yeah, fourth, fourth week.

Josh Raulerson: (12:45)

I imagine your head is spinning and taking in a lot of information. So again, thanks for being up for this. I wanted to ask you what those first few weeks have been like for you. What are you finding out about PEC, about, you know, the things that we’re involved in in Pennsylvania, anything, you know, particularly surprising or, or exciting to you? 

Tom Gilbert: (13:03)
It’s, it has been a whirlwind traveling around the state and meeting all of our really excellent staff and getting up to speed on our many programs and projects. I did not quite realize the extent to which we are working on trails throughout the state. I mean, every region of the state, our impact on expanding trails, identifying and filling key gaps in trail networks, and putting a lot of thought in also into, it’s not just about developing trails, but how do we maintain and steward those trails? It’s impressive. I also had the good fortune to meet with DCNR Secretary Dunn and her senior staff, and my, I think second week on the job, and just came away from that feeling very fortunate that we have such committed and capable public servants at the helm of DCNR. I also attended a meeting in Altoona where we’re working on a project that I think is very exciting with the Altoona Water Authority to help them plan for some 20 miles of trails for mountain biking and other outdoor recreation on their 15,000 acres of, of watershed lands. And this is a good example of work that we’re doing throughout Western Pennsylvania and other areas of the state to, you know, activate open spaces of, of various kinds, you know, and I really applaud the Water Authority for being forward thinking and wanting to turn their lands into a, a recreation destination in addition to the important role that those lands play in, in safeguarding their drinking water supply. 

Josh Raulerson: (14:36)
Yeah, I mean, it’s such a great example of that sort of synergy between recreation and economic development and watershed protection and the meat-and-potatoes issues that environmental and conservation organizations are interested in. So when you think about that program work and the way it ties different threads together, the other side of it, and historically, going back to PEC’s origins in the seventies, when we started out as a lobbying and advocacy organization doing a lot of research, PEC’s original charge was to sort of be a source of expertise and knowledge. And like that has carried on through our 50 years, 50 plus years I should say. We’ve also taken on a lot of program work in trails and recreation, as you’ve said, watersheds other areas. I’m curious what your impressions are of this sort of dual relationship, these separate but intersecting and overlapping tracks. Is this something you see elsewhere in the country, other places where you have worked? How do you think about the relationship between these, these two strands? 

Tom Gilbert: (15:33)
I think there are, there are a lot of important synergies between the programmatic work and the policy work. And in particular because it’s clear that when people have ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation on, well-maintained trails and green spaces, and they have good access to clean waterways, they typically develop an appreciation and, and love for the outdoors, which can translate into active support for stewarding those resources. People pay attention to things they know and love. And so in addition to all the, the, the critical benefits for public health and, and quality of life and the economic development opportunities that you just mentioned, if we’re going to have a citizenry that values and cares for our natural resources and protection of our environment, it’s critical that they have those opportunities to experience it. And, and also I, I would note here that we know that not all communities have the same access to the outdoors and those kinds of recreational opportunities. And that’s why it’s so important that we pay attention to that and that we make extra effort to really identify places that are lacking that equitable access, and we focus our work to improve access and opportunities in those communities. 

Josh Raulerson: (16:53)
Yeah, I’m, I’m glad you brought up that issue. I mean, that’s something that I think across the sector has obviously been more and more important in recent years, and people are sort of interpreting and setting goals in, in different ways. I mean, we were just both in a conversation earlier this morning that touched on a lot of these issues. So it’s really hardening to see the focus on the, on the ground purchase of program work and in advancing diversity, equity inclusion goals. I’m wondering what we can do internally as an organization, you know, institutionally, what approach could PEC maybe take, whether that’s increasing diversity on our staff, on our board, incorporating DEIJ goals, you know, at a higher level across the organization? 

Tom Gilbert: (17:34)
So, my understanding, again, fourth week on the job, but I can see that PEC has been and is very committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. There’s an assessment of the organization that was done a few years ago that I think highlighted some of the strengths, some of the, some of the opportunities and challenges. We are prioritizing that in our external work in many ways, I think, especially in our trails work. One, I think great example is our work with many partners in the Circuit Trails Coalition to expand and connect a network of trails throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. There’s a, a, a plan that underlies that work that really looks systematically at the needs and opportunities to expand trails in underserved communities, in particular. And so that is a major focus of the Circuit Trail Coalition work. In addition, that assessment also outlined steps needed to make sure that individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities will feel welcome and have a sense of belonging on the trail. 

So it’s not just a matter of creating those opportunities in the communities, but making sure that the communities will appreciate, feel comfortable, and utilize those resources as well. Having said all that, we have a lot more work to do. I think we know that we need to take steps to increase the diversity of our, of our staff and our board, but in order to be successful on that, we have to make sure that we have an inclusive workplace that will attract and retain a diverse staff. So it’s definitely something that I’m thinking about and others in the organization are as well, and that we’ll be paying a lot of attention to going forward. 

Tom Gilbert: (19:16)
When you look at where PEC is at as an organization where Pennsylvania is at more broadly, what do you see as challenges, opportunities? What’s the medium long-term strategic vision for you? 

Tom Gilbert: (19:28)
Well, I think there’s a real moment of opportunity when it comes to advancing trails and outdoor recreation for some of the reasons that we touched on. This is something that is very much on the radar screen for the Shapiro Administration as per some of the investments in the budget and the Office of Outdoor Recreation. That’s a big focus of our work throughout the state. And as we discussed, in addition to the many public health and quality of life benefits this will bring, it will also fuel economic development and help to attract and retain workers who are increasingly mobile in their ability to select where they want to live and, and oftentimes really value these amenities.

I think the biggest challenge we face, and this is not just for PEC, but for the state, is transitioning to a clean energy economy. And it’s absolutely vital that we do. So, given the climate crisis, which is becoming increasingly evident in all of our lives, we’re experiencing this. Record heat. 2023 was the hottest year on record. More frequent and intense extreme weather events, deadly flash flooding like we’ve rarely seen before. Tornadoes. I mean, you know, I, I grew up in Pennsylvania, I never thought or worried about tornadoes, and now they’ve become fairly commonplace. You know, Pennsylvania is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases among states. So we have a lot of work to do, and we have a responsibility to clean up our act. But I think we need to view this as not just a challenge, but an opportunity. And as I noted previously, for example, moving to 30% renewable energy by 2030 would bring over $13 billion in economic benefits to the state and create nearly 130,000 jobs. Pennsylvania has always been a leading state on energy production, right? That’s a big part of our history. So let’s seize the opportunity to make Pennsylvania a leader in building a prosperous, healthy, clean energy economy. 

Josh Raulerson: (21:26)
Yeah. And, and those opportunities are there not just, again, with federal support and guidance, not just to build up this sector of our economy, but to do so in a way that’s equitable, that creates value for everyone in Pennsylvania.

Tom Gilbert: (21:38)
That’s right. I mean, while a lot of the focus on clean energy is around reducing greenhouse gas emissions appropriately, so when we move to clean energy, that’s also going to bring significant public health benefits, right? Because as we’re moving to zero or low carbon sources of energy production, we’re typically going to be reducing co-pollutants at the same time. And very often those kinds of facilities are located in communities that are overburdened by pollution. And so there are important opportunities to advance environmental justice and address kind of longstanding pollution burdens in communities at the same time.

Josh Raulerson: (22:18)
Your arrival at PEC marks a sort of a shift in our center of gravity across the state. Our president has been based in Pittsburgh for a while. You’re a Philly guy. Talk about how you’re engaging with other regions across Pennsylvania, which is a huge state and, and heterogeneous in a lot of ways. What does it mean for you to be at the head of a, of a statewide organization? How are you, you know, interacting with people across the commonwealth and maybe even beyond the Commonwealth? Do you envision relationships, you know, throughout the region, other states, other parts of the country?

Tom Gilbert: (22:48)
Well, I’ve certainly spent a good deal of time on the turnpike already in my first few weeks. And I imagine that I will be doing so going forward, I definitely plan to be traveling throughout the state on a regular basis and have already done that. And while I visited all of our offices so far, except for the State College office, and looking forward to getting up there soon, spent time in Harrisburg, spent time in Altoona. So, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m excited about that and looking forward to really getting out there, meeting with our partners all over the state, seeing the work on the ground because there’s no substitute. You’ve, you’ve got to see it to really understand it and appreciate it. You know, having worked for various national, regional and state conservation organizations throughout my career, I certainly have a, a great network of contacts at partner organizations, both in Pennsylvania and, and outside of Pennsylvania that I think will be useful and that I certainly plan to kind of tap into and figure out how I can leverage some of those relationships and contacts to help advance our mission here in Pennsylvania. 

Josh Raulerson: (23:52)
So we started off talking about outdoors activities, formative experiences as a young person. What are you up to lately? What do you like to do outdoors? Are there favorite spots, favorite activities?

Tom Gilbert: (24:03)
Yeah, I dabble in a lot of things. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly hardcore about any one outdoor activity, but I certainly enjoy hiking and have done a lot of hiking. I like to ski — both downhill and cross country — although snow is getting much harder to come by. Another, another impact of climate change. I enjoy biking, although I’m a far cry from, we’ve got some, some pretty incredible hardcore bikers in this organization. So that’ll be good for me to push my own envelope a little bit. I enjoy paddling. I do a little fishing. I’m a sort of novice fly fisherman, but anxious to do more. And of course, Pennsylvania has incredible trout streams, so, you know, a variety of things. Given that I’ve lived most of my life in southeastern Pennsylvania, I’ve seen much more of, of eastern PA. But I’m really excited to explore more of central and western PA. It’s such a large and beautiful state, and I really look forward to getting to know all the regions of it better. In a few weeks, I’ll be in the Laurel Highlands for a meeting of the conservation landscape initiative focused on that region, which is one of our projects with DCNR and many other partners. And I’m also really excited to visit the PA Wilds. I need to get up there and see the elk herd. So hopefully my, my travels will take me up that way in the near future. 

Josh Raulerson: (25:21)
Seems likely enough. Also in the category of interests and pastimes. I know I saw somewhere that you play the guitar. What style do you play? What instrument do you play? Yeah, tell me about that.

Tom Gilbert: (25:32)
I do. I play primarily acoustic guitar. And I like to play, I would say folk bluegrass, a little bit of what you might call sort of, you know, mellow classic rock. That kind of stuff. I like to play a little bit with my daughter who’s a musician, so it’s always special to, you know, be able to make music with one of your kids. Yeah. And at my past organization, we did have a little bit of an informal ragtag band that we called the Conservation Combo. We had a fiddle player, a banjo player, a bass player, another guitarist, and it’s a lot of fun. I still once in a while get together with those folks and play, so hopefully and find some other musicians at PEC and with our partners. 

Josh Raulerson: (26:13)
I hope so. Yeah, I know for a fact there are a few, a few people, one pretty solid bass player that I know of, and some of us can get by on keys and other stringed instruments. That sounds like fun. 

Tom Gilbert: (26:23)
I agree. We’ll make it happen. 

Josh Raulerson: (26:25)
Well, Tom, if I haven’t said it already, welcome to PEC. So glad you’re here, and thanks again for taking the time to do this interview. It was, it was great having you on the podcast.

Tom Gilbert: (26:33)
My pleasure. And I’m, I’m really excited to be here and look forward to many good things to come. 

Josh Raulerson: (26:42)
Tom Gilbert is the new president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. You can learn more about him on the PEC website, where all past episodes of our podcast can be streamed. And in the show notes, you’ll find a link to our December interview with Tom’s predecessor, Davitt Woodwell. Davitt will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at PEC’s Pittsburgh dinner in May, as part of a program that will also celebrate wins for outdoor recreation and the environment in western Pennsylvania communities. It’ll be a special evening, and we hope you can join us at the Westin Hotel in Pittsburgh May 14th. Watch the PEC website for ticket information.

There’s more on the website about PEC’s policy advocacy in the energy space, including informative content on plans for clean hydrogen production in the Commonwealth, new federally mandated controls on methane leaks in the oil and gas industry and state legislation pending or advancing in the General Assembly. The PEC Bill Tracker has current information on various proposals and where they stand, as well as our position. Find it in the policy section of the PEC website at You can sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, In Case You Missed It, just go to the PEC website, scroll to the bottom of any page, and find the orange signup button in the footer. That’s all for this edition of Pennsylvania Legacies. We’ll have another one Friday after next. Until then, for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, I’m Josh Raulerson. Thanks for listening.