Don't Let the Pennsylvania Legislature Trade Away Clean Air and Water Protections

On July 27, 2017, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a revenue package that will further decimate the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), threatening public health and damaging our environment in the process. By the slimmest of margins, the Senate voted 26-24 to adopt amendments to the Tax Code bill – House Bill 542 – which does achieve one of Governor Wolf’s long-sought goals, a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas from unconventional wells. On its own, this is a worthy policy goal. However, in exchange for what amounts to a paltry revenue increase, the Senate approved a series of environmental riders wanted by industry groups that gut DEP’s ability to act in the public interest. This is unacceptable; the state budget is not the place to debate critical protections for our air, water, and public health. DEP’s budget has already been slashed by 40 percent over the last 13 years – resulting in the loss of over 22 percent of its staff – and HB 542 would undermine DEP’s authority going forward and pose an immediate threat to Governor Wolf’s proposed commonsense controls on methane pollution.

Read enough? Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

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August 15, 2017

At the expense of PA families, some industry lobbyists spew “alternative facts” on state’s methane problem

Anyone who thinks that the Marcellus Shale Coalition is genuinely interested in protecting the public health or the environment in Pennsylvania is in for a rude awakening. For proof, one need look no further than at the lobbying organization’s most recent comments in the Harrisburg Patriot-News. It is full of contradictions that serve only the worst actors in the oil and gas industry.


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July 11, 2017

What suspending EPA’s oil and gas pollution standards means for Pennsylvania

More Pollution Headed for Pennsylvania

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's action to suspend commonsense leak detection and repair requirements creates an immediate health and environmental threat for communities in Pennsylvania. This loophole allows wells across the state to continue emitting methane, a powerful climate forcing pollutant, smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) like benzene, a known human carcinogen. 

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June 23, 2017

Public Comment is In: 11,000+ to Cut Methane in PA

Residents and groups from across Pennsylvania submitted over 11,000 comments to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) advocating for proposed changes to streamlined permits that address methane pollution from new and modified natural gas operations.

Methane leaks at almost every stage of the natural gas supply chain. Methane pollution carries with it a range of other harmful pollutants, posing an unnecessary health risk to residents living near gas operations and downwind residents across the state. Pennsylvania has a serious methane pollution problem from the oil and gas industry– a problem that is only getting worse.

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June 13, 2017

PA health experts, policymakers, and shalefield residents held press conference and rally to call for swift adoption of state air quality protections


(HARRISBURG, PA - May 24, 2017) Today, impacted residents, a public health expert, and a state legislator spoke in support of Governor Wolf’s initial work to curb air pollution from the oil and gas industry and urge the Governor to keep his promise to address existing industry operations already polluting the air.

As the Senate Majority Policy Committee met with industry leaders at a hearing inside the Capitol, speakers at the rally outside used verifiable data and the widespread experiences of residents statewide to refute industry’s claims that natural gas development is harmless. They called on legislators to stop any efforts to derail new oil and gas permits requiring operators to detect and repair leaks, thereby reducing pollution and preventing the waste of natural gas.

 Read enough? Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

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May 25, 2017

Who will finally take action on PA’s worsening oil and gas air pollution problem?


By Rob Altenburg, Director, PennFuture Energy Center 

Every year since 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has asked drillers and owners of compressor stations to report the amount of air pollution they emit. We saw a dip in emissions of methane—the primary constituent of natural gas—in 2013 as a new set of regulations, the federal New Source Performance Standards, began to phase in, but emissions are once again on the rise.
Data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that natural gas production from such wells in Pennsylvania increased by more than 12 percent between 2014 and 2015. But the most recent inventory data shows that between 2014 and 2015, methane emissions rose more than 20 percent—an alarming increase. Any time emissions are rising faster than production, it’s clear that voluntary efforts to cut emissions are not working.


Read enough? Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

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May 10, 2017

PA Communities Bring their Air Pollution to Harrisburg

On March 21, over a dozen Pennsylvania residents gathered at the State Capitol to call on Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania legislature to protect them from oil and gas pollution. In meetings with representatives, residents called on elected officials to vote for policies that reduce harmful pollution, not those that maintain the status quo. 

Residents even brought air samples from their own neighborhoods and released them into the air outside of the Capitol, to bring attention to their real concerns about air pollution from the gas industry.

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March 28, 2017

PA Communities Demonstrate Support for Critical Methane Emission Rules at State Capitol

Harrisburg, PA - On Tuesday, March 21st Pennsylvania residents, environmental organizations, and health professionals will hold a press conference to express support for Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal to reduce methane emissions from new oil and gas operations.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released important measures in January to address methane pollution from new oil and gas operations. March 22nd would have marked the public comment period deadline for the measures. Yet the industry’s extensive and aggressive lobbying of state legislators very likely prompted DEP to extend the comment period to June 5th.

Today, attendees all emphasized the urgent need for DEP’s proposed standards for new sources, and called on DEP to quickly develop rules to cover existing sources of natural gas that are already polluting the air. Residents brought air samples from their own neighborhoods and released them into the air outside of the Capitol, to bring attention to their real concerns about air pollution from the gas industry.

Read enough? Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

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March 20, 2017

Pollution on the Rise; PA Families Need Protection

The past few weeks have issued startling reports about the air and water pollution being generated by Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry.

First, a study from researchers at Drexel University found that even though oil and gas production dropped in recent years, the level of methane pollution associated with oil and gas development apparently went up. Then, a separate report from Duke University revealed that oil and gas companies have been spilling significant quantities of toxic wastewater across the state every day for the past decade. 

Together these reports crystallize the reckless nature of Pennsylvania’s gas industry. There is no reason for methane pollution in the state to be increasing at these levels when there are well documented, affordable strategies that companies can implement to reduce pollution.

Read enough? Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

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March 01, 2017

Share How Fracking Has Affected You and Your Community

In 2017, we resolve to get to know our neighbors and community leaders better. We need unity now to protect our communities from potential harms from fracking operations. This is crucial as we face a new Presidential Administration together.

The our elected officials and policymakers need to hear that our families must have protections from harmful air pollution from the oil and gas industry for the sake of our health.

Join us to share your experiences at a listening event on Thursday, January 26th at 6:00 p.m.

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January 11, 2017

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