#PABudget2020: Climate action is here and Pennsylvania is entering the race | Opinion

Pennsylvania Capital-Star

By Dan Grossman and Davitt Woodwell

February 3, 2020

Given a lack of federal leadership to reduce greenhouse emissions, Pennsylvania has moved to join our neighboring states in taking real action on climate. Last year, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order committing the Commonwealth to substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions: 26 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050.

Pennsylvanians are in the middle of the climate conversation, and for good reason. Carbon emissions from our power sector are the fifth highest in the nation while Pennsylvania’s oil and gas sector is estimated to emit more than 500,000 metric tons of methane emissions annually – five times higher than industry reported to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

But there is significant reason for hope. Meaningful, affordable, and entirely achievable first steps that are already moving in Harrisburg can be taken now to ratchet down climate-altering emissions.

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Curbing emissions benefits all Pennsylvanians

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Isaac Brown

February 1, 2020

Pennsylvanians realize that natural gas plays a significant role in the state’s economy. However, the state’s energy resources should be developed responsibly by minimizing natural gas waste and air pollution from new and existing oil and gas infrastructure.

To that end, we applaud the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf as it enters into a rulemaking process that seeks to cut emissions of methane and other air pollutants from the thousands of existing sources of pollution spanning oil and gas development and transmission.

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The Philadelphia Citizen

By Joseph Otis Minott

December 23, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator Andrew Wheeler wants to gut critical measures that reduce methane pollution from the oil and gas industry and help curb the climate crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people, including nine members of the Pennsylvania delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senator Bob Casey, sent comments to the EPA during the 60-day-comment period expressing their opposition to this reckless rollback.

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Implement proposed methane rule

Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre

By The Editorial Board

December 23, 2019

The ongoing growth of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania and nationally has helped to reduce carbon emissions by more than 10% since 2007, even though carbon output spiked by about 3.4% in 2018, according to the Rhodium Group, a private sector research firm that used data from the Energy Information Administration and several other sources.

Carbon dioxide is the most abundant greenhouse gas but it is less potent than methane — the natural gas that is being used to supplant coal for power production.

It takes far less methane than carbon dioxide escaping into the atmosphere to worsen atmospheric warming. But as the gas industry grows it is clear that state and federal regulators do not have a good handle on just how much methane leaks during gas extraction, processing and transportation.

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Pa. rule to tackle air pollution from oil and gas wells advances

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Laura Legere

December 17, 2019

HARRISBURG — A proposed rule to cut down on air pollution released by Pennsylvania’s thousands of existing oil and gas wells is expected to eliminate tens of thousands of tons of methane emissions each year — but it won’t target the greenhouse gas directly nor will it require leak surveys at the vast majority of the state’s older wells.

The state’s environmental rule-making board voted to advance the proposal on Tuesday for a period of public comment that will open early next year.

The long-anticipated rule was promised by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2016 as part of a broader strategy to shrink the amount of climate-warming gases wafting out of both new and existing equipment used for producing Pennsylvania’s oil and gas.

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OP-ED: Pennsylvania has an opportunity to lead on methane as EPA falters


By Andrew Williams

November 11, 2019

Three weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency held a public hearing on its proposal to gut key regulations that reduce climate-damaging methane emissions, and protect communities from pollution from oil and gas development. Methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas responsible for 25% of current global warming, is also the main component of natural gas, which is an important energy resource in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is the second-largest natural gas producing state in the country, and should act now to ensure its residents do not lose key protections put in jeopardy by the federal government. Gov. Tom Wolf recently committed to join the ranks of states working to limit carbon pollution. By joining the many other oil- and gas-producing states across the country stepping up to cut methane pollution from existing oil and gas infrastructure, Pennsylvania has a chance to lead by quickly advancing its current rule proposal.

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Health impacts of the natural gas industry are hurting Pennsylvania residents | Opinion


Rev. Mitch Hescox

November 21, 2019

It’s no secret that many in our Pennsylvania General Assembly are wildly supportive of the natural gas industry, which remains a powerful economic force in our Commonwealth. However, the industry’s promises of good-paying jobs, royalties, impact fees, and campaign donations does not absolve its responsibility to be a good steward of our state’s common resources.

Nationally, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and BP have supported strong federal standards to reduce the leakage of natural gas and other toxins such as benzene, a carcinogen, from natural gas infrastructure. We expect Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry to do the same, and for the General Assembly to ensure that when it doesn’t, the industry will be held accountable for cleaning up its mess.

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Address methane now: Gov. Wolf must tackle critical climate issue

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Editorial Board

October 1, 2019

Once a legendary supplier to our nation’s coal bin, Pennsylvania evolved into one of the United States’ leading providers of natural gas, responsible for more than 20% of U.S. gas production. This also means that Pennsylvania is one of the country’s leading producers of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is pegged as a major contributor to global warming.

The Trump administration is relaxing federal requirements for the monitoring and fixing of emission leaks in pipelines or wells. This places the onus on individual states to pick up the slack that results.

Gov. Tom Wolf is promoting a plan that is inadequate in holding accountable Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry for doing its part as an environmental steward.

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Environmentalists pressure Wolf to act faster on methane emissions


By Katie Meyer

September 19, 2019

(Harrisburg) — As President Donald Trump’s administration rolls back emissions controls, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is under increasing pressure from environmentalists to crack down on polluters within the state.

As part of a broader effort to scale back environmental oversight, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency has said it plans to stop requiring oil and gas companies to use technology to find and fix methane leaks.

Wolf has taken some action to reduce methane ​emissions in Pennsylvania already.

Last year he started finalizing permits that set emissions thresholds on new unconventional gas wells, and his administration has proposed new permits for existing wells.

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Emotional speakers beg for stronger controls on methane emissions

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Don Hopey

April 23, 2019

State Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearings are generally dry affairs about policy proposals, but not Tuesday morning.

At the Teamster Temple in Lawrenceville, two Washington County residents provided tearful testimony about devastating health and property problems they blamed on unregulated and uncontrolled emissions of methane gas from dozens of wells near their homes and a campus in the Fort Cherry School District.

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