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PEC, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, submitted the attached letter to the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee in opposition to House Bill 1847. The Committee was scheduled to consider the bill on January 25, 2022. Similar to companion legislation in the Senate, this bill substantially affects rules governing unintended releases of contaminants from permitted sites and facilities. The language of this bill creates uncertainty over if or when releases would need to be reported to the state, and could potentially invalidate existing protection criteria and emergency response plans.
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Environmental Defense Fund commend Governor Wolf for vetoing Senate Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1 and continuing the commitment toward reduction of harmful carbon dioxide emissions from the electric generation sector. This is an important market-based step that will prepare and position Pennsylvania for a successful energy future. We urge the General Assembly to shift their time and attention toward advancing constructive policies that cut pollution, diversify our energy supply, benefit consumers, and provide new investment and employment opportunities in clean energy business and deployment.
  This week legislation (Senate Bill 979) was introduced by Senator Sharif Street that would reform our state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards to advance low and net-zero carbon electricity generation. This includes expanding requirements for generation from renewable sources, providing a mechanism to sustain nuclear generation where justified, and establishing a pathway for emerging technologies like advanced nuclear and carbon capture. PEC has advocated for Clean Energy Standard legislation for several years, and we applaud Senator Street for developing this bill. Pennsylvania’s sizeable electric generation sector provides both challenges and opportunities for meaningful emission reductions, and requires a full complement…
Photo: Wikimedia user bestbudbrian (CC-BY-SA 3.0)
If you follow PEC, you know that we have been focused on decarbonizing Pennsylvania’s energy production in general and laser focused on getting the state to join RGGI – the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative. Pennsylvania needs a multi-faceted, all-of-the-above approach to decarbonization. And we need to ensure that firm, dispatchable power remains a part of our energy supply. RGGI, as a market-based solution, works within these parameters and with current and anticipated federal policy, as well. In fact, RGGI can help Pennsylvania jump ahead of other states in leveraging federal dollars and luring clean energy business growth. The Governor and…
PEC submitted a letter to the House Tourism & Recreational Development Committee in support of House Bill 1694, which would expand liability protections to volunteers and organizations that help maintain and develop public recreational assets. A copy of our letter is included below.
Today the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission concurred with the Environmental Quality Board, as well as the Department of Environmental Protection’s (“DEP”) Citizens Advisory Council, Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee, Environmental Justice Advisory Board, and Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, to advance a proposed rulemaking that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from Pennsylvania’s electric power sector. Once finalized, this rulemaking will be the first of many necessary steps to address greenhouse gas emissions. It is particularly noteworthy because, despite adoption of the bipartisan Climate Change Act of 2008 and recurring reports about the urgency of action, the Commonwealth to date…
At the end of June, the General Assembly hurriedly presented a budget package, passed it, and adjourned for the summer. Due to federal assistance provided through the American Recovery Act, this year’s state budget didn’t generate the usual drama. But the quick closure also meant several other opportunities were left unmet. Here’s where key items stand until the legislature returns in the fall: State Budget Federal support from the American Recovery Act and record revenue returns for the General Fund helped stave off any budgetary raids on programs like the Environmental Stewardship Fund or Keystone Fund. However, the General Assembly…
On June 25th the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution (H.J.Res.34) pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (‘CRA’) to restore EPA rules limiting oil and gas methane pollution from new wells, processing plants, and other facilities across the country. A companion measure ( S.J.Res.14) already passed the U.S. Senate in April. See how PA’s Congressional Delegation voted [a ‘Yes’ vote is in favor of restoring the methane standards]: House Senate Once signed by President Biden, the resolution will immediately reinstate provisions rescinded late last year by the previous administration and clear the way for additional safeguards for hundreds of…
Senate Bill 545 (P.N. 563) pertains to reporting requirements of unintended releases (for example, spills or discharges) of substances (chemicals, wastes, or other products) at permitted sites or operations. This bill is a reintroduction of legislation from last session (then Senate Bill 619) that PEC opposed. Last year’s bill was much more far-reaching in that it curtailed the long-standing definition of ‘pollution’ under the Clean Streams Law. SB 545 takes a different approach by tasking the Environmental Quality Board with promulgating standards for reporting of releases. While the design of SB545 is more functional, there are still many unresolved issues…
Today Senator Carolyn Comitta and Representative Dianne Herrin, accompanied by Governor Wolf, announced companion legislation (Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 1565) that directs proceeds from Pennsylvania’s pending participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to a suite of initiatives to bolster renewable and net zero energy, reduce air pollution, and fund community-focused programs. John Walliser, Senior Vice President, Legal & Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, issued the following statement: PEC commends Senator Comitta and Representative Herrin for spearheading legislation to propel net zero energy innovation and investment in Pennsylvania. Equally important, this bill provides direct support to…
PEC joined the Environmental Defense Fund in opposing legislation aimed at blocking Pennsylvania from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. House Bill 637 would actually prevent the Department of Environmental Protection from advancing any proposed policy to control carbon dioxide emissions. HB637 is a companion to Senate Bill 119, which PEC also opposes.
PEC and the Environmental Defense Fund submitted the attached letter to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee in opposition to House Bill 1144.