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This page houses archived copies of posts and materials published on the PEC website since 2014. Use the tools below to search or browse legacy content including publications, handouts, maps and trail information, audio and video, blog posts, newsletters, and more.

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On November 21st, Governor Wolf announced that his administration would pursue an emergency rulemaking to finalize long-overdue VOC and methane rules for the conventional oil and gas industry. This step became necessary when the Chair of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, without public notice or a hearing, utilized a procedural maneuver to block the rule from becoming final before the end of the year – setting off a consequential chain reaction that would adversely impact Pennsylvania’s environment and economy. This VOC and methane rulemaking, which has been in development since Governor Wolf first announced his methane strategy in…
PEC and the Environmental Defense Fund submitted the following letter today to the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on newly introduced legislation that would task the Department of Environmental Protection with pursuing primacy for Class VI injection wells, which can be used for carbon capture and storage (CCUS). While PEC supports measured CCUS deployment, we have concerns with the legislation as written.   November 14, 2022 To: Members of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Re: Carbon Dioxide Geologic Sequestration Primacy Legislation (SB 1361)   Dear Senators: The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and Environmental Defense Fund…
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new regulatory proposal to substantially reduce oil and gas methane pollution. The new draft builds on, and considerably strengthens, the agency’s initial proposal released last November. Most importantly, the proposal includes new standards for low-producing (but still potentially highly polluting) wells, which are a significant source of emissions in Pennsylvania. “Capturing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is a cornerstone to responsible energy security and development. We are gratified to see the EPA issue a proposed rule that seeks to further address activities that risk releasing this potent greenhouse gas to the atmosphere”…
Update September 19, 2022: The Pennsylvania Environmental Council submitted updated comments to the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on the topic of carbon capture and clean energy hubs in Pennsylvania. Read the updated comments here: PEC Senate ERE Hearing Comments (19 Sept 2022) Pennsylvania Environmental Council Comments on Hydrogen Hub Prospective August 2022   The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) respectfully submits these comments to the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee and the Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee on the topic of hydrogen hub buildout in Pennsylvania. We commend the Committee for holding an informational hearing on this topic. Advancing decarbonization strategies…
This news story, originally published in Capital & Main on August 12, quotes from a letter sent by PEC and the Environmental Defense Fund to Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on July 28, 2022 opposing Regulation #7-544 (Control of VOC Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources). Comments from PEC Senior VP John Walliser are excerpted below. Find the full story here. Pennsylvania Legislators Stall Emissions Regulation The state risks health and highway funding if it doesn’t pass regulations on oil and gas pollution. Published on August 12, 2022 By Audrey Carleton Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are attempting to…
PEC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) jointly sent the following letter to Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on July 28, 2022: Dear Representatives, On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Environmental Defense Fund, we are writing to express our opposition to the proposed concurrent resolution to disapprove Regulation #7-544 (Control of VOC Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas Sources). The Committee is scheduled to consider this resolution on August 2nd. This concurrent resolution is ill-advised, threatens noncompliance and sanctions with respect to long- standing federal requirements (that Pennsylvania has yet to meet), and…
PEC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) jointly sent the following letter to Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 22, 2022: Dear Representatives: On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Environmental Defense Fund, we urge you to oppose House Bill 2649, which may receive Third and Final consideration as soon as today. Simply put, this legislation would grant a politically appointed body the authority to block agency rulemakings. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) already plays an established role in the rulemaking process – it has the opportunity, based on input from agencies, the General Assembly, and public…
PEC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) jointly sent the following letter to Members of the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on June 7, 2022: Dear Senators: We write to share our concerns with Senate Bill 692 (P.N. 771), which substantially revises erosion & sedimentation permitting for the oil and gas industry. Our concerns include the following: The legislation sets deadlines for permitting decisions, but includes language that may put the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or County Conservation Districts at a disadvantage toward meeting those deadlines. For example, the definition of “administratively complete” [page 1, starting at line…
In November 2021 Congress passed, and President Biden signed into law, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The $1.2 trillion package includes funding for a range of energy, transportation, water quality, climate resiliency, conservation, and legacy pollution cleanup projects. Naturally, many of these grant programs are germane to work currently being planned or carried out in Pennsylvania by nonprofit organizations like PEC, as well as by state and local governments, researchers, landowners, and other stakeholders. But with such a vast and wide-ranging piece of legislation, prospective grantees may not be able to readily identify exactly what funding prospects exist, which ones hold…
PEC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) jointly sent the following letter to Members of the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on June 6, 2022: Dear Representatives: On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), we urge you to oppose House Bill 2644 (P.N. 3187). This legislation unjustifiably limits financial assurance requirements for the conventional oil and gas industry, shifting considerable cost to the citizens of Pennsylvania. Estimates from both the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the conventional industry itself place the average cost of well plugging at approximately $33,000 per well –…
On April 23rd the Department of Environmental Protection’s rulemaking to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin as final. The rulemaking, more formally known as the CO2 Budget Trading Program, would link Pennsylvania to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (better known as “RGGI”) market platform to help achieve the reduction of those emissions. As we have noted in previous posts, RGGI is an established and successful program that has lowered emissions and provided significant investment returns and cost savings to multiple states in the northeast – precisely what is needed in a…