Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA

With 12.8 million residentsPennsylvania is the fifth most populated state in America, behind only California, Texas, Florida, and New York. It’s also relatively large in land area, especially for the Northeastern United States, at 46,055 square miles with forests covering 58% of its land. The commonwealth also has many lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

In the wake of climate change, Pennsylvania is facing more flooding, heat and respiratory deaths, as well as disruptions to its agricultural systems. Like other northeastern states, Pennsylvania will see far more rainfall and extreme weather than experienced in the past. Already, between 1958 and 2010, the Northeast saw more than a 70% increase in precipitation during powerful weather events with the expectation that rainfall will increase another 8% by 2050. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has already experienced record-breaking impacts from floods and landslides costing the state over $105 million extra in 2018 alone.

Pennsylvania is one of seven states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to have record sweltering heat in July, 2020. Records date back to 1895. Temperatures in Pennsylvania have increased by 1.8°F in the last century, and are expected to rise another 5.4˚F by 2050.  Mid-century temperatures in Philadelphia are expected to be similar to the historical temperatures of Richmond, Virginia while Pittsburgh will resemble the Washington-Baltimore metro areas.  As temperatures rise in Pennsylvania, heat deaths rise too. The heat also leads to increased air pollution as it slows the flow of air and aids a reaction that creates ground-level ozone, a powerful pollutant. Pennsylvania has the most premature deaths per capita caused by air pollution of any state (4,800 in 2018).

Pennsylvania’s increasingly frequent hot days and extreme weather events are taking their toll on agriculture, one of the state’s most important industries. As just one example, a 2018 Penn State study found that corn production in Southeastern PA could be especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This is having reverberating effects on Pennsylvania’s dairy industry, where corn is a major food for cows. Climate change’s effect on rainfall is also causing farmers to resort to irrigation, which has never been necessary in Pennsylvania. Farmers also endure the  extra expense of adding more cover crops in order to protect their soil against erosion.

Pennsylvania is the country’s second-largest net supplier of energy to other states, after Wyoming, and the third-highest electricity-generating state in the nation, behind only Texas and Florida. Located in the coal-rich Appalachian Mountain region, northeastern Pennsylvania has virtually all of the nation’s reserves of anthracite coal. In natural gas, it is second only to Texas in estimated reserves. In nuclear power generating capacity, Pennsylvania ranks second after Illinois. Because Pennsylvania is such an important energy generator, climate reform in the state would strongly impact the whole country.

In 2018 nuclear power was the largest supplier of electricity in the state, followed by natural gas-fired generation; then coal-fired power plants, and renewable energy made up only 5% of the commonwealth’s energy consumption. Wind is the largest source of renewable energy in Pennsylvania, followed by hydropower, biomass, and then solar. Find more information about Pennsylvania’s energy sources and usage here.

In 2008, the state passed the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act requiring the development of an inventory of GHG emissions to be updated annually and administered by a Climate Change Advisory Committee, which was to set up a voluntary registry of GHG emissions, prepare a Climate Change Impacts Assessment, provide an update once every three years, and prepare a Climate Change Action Plan.

By 2019, Pennsylvania’s governor signed Executive Order 2019-1, which states that Pennsylvania “shall strive” to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26% (from 2005 levels) by 2025, and 80% by 2050. It also established performance goals for Pennsylvania executive agencies concerning energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and renewable energy purchases. Finally, the Order also established a “GreenGov Council” to help agencies meet these goals.

In September, 2021, Governor Wolf announced the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan 2021 (as contemplated in 2008!) outlining a pathway to reaching Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas reduction goals: 26 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels.

Under Wolf’s governorship, Pennsylvania announced in 2020 that it would join seven other states (Kansas, Maryland, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming) in committing to develop a safe carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure plan. By October, 2021, those states released their Regional CO2 Transport, Infrastructure action Plan, which included policies for states to consider to facilitate CO2 Transport and Storage project deployment.

Pennsylvania is one of twenty-four states and Puerto Rico committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

A Pennsylvania County Is Suing the Fossil Fuel Industry for Damages Linked to Climate Change

By Kiley Bense 04/05/24
On July 15, 2023, Pennsylvania’s Bucks County recorded seven inches of rainfall in just 45 minutes. Within two hours, the county was deluged by the same amount of rainwater that it normally accumulates in the…
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Pennsylvania’s Governor Wants to Cut Power Plant Emissions With His Own Cap-and-Invest Program

By Jon Hurdle 03/13/24
Pennsylvania would run its own cap-and-invest program for cutting carbon emissions from power plants and increase its use of renewable fuels if lawmakers approve two bills outlined by Gov. Josh Shapiro on Wednesday.
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Public comments invited on controversial hydro project in Pennsylvania

03/06/24
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has accepted an application for a preliminary permit for a controversial 1,000-acre pumped-storage hydroelectric facility near the Susquehanna River in York County, PA.
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Pa. will have two years to update methane rules to match EPA

By Rachel McDevitt 12/14/23
Countries that attended the recent United Nations climate change conference are making new pledges to rein in planet-warming emissions.
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Pennsylvania governor appeals decision blocking plan to make power plants pay for greenhouse gases

By Marc Levy 11/22/23
Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration said Tuesday that it is appealing a court ruling that blocked a state regulation to make Pennsylvania’s power plant owners pay for their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, even as the Democrat…
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160 Million Pounds of ‘Secret Chemicals’ Used by Oil and Gas in Pennsylvania, Report Says

By Angely Mercado 10/30/23
Oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania are likely using dangerous forever chemicals in fracking wells, without having to legally disclose this to the state. This is making it difficult for vulnerable communities to know if…
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Pennsylvania Falling Behind in Renewable Energy Race

By Ellie Kerns and Flora Cardoni 10/19/23
According to “Renewables on the Rise 2023,” the seventh edition of our annual report on the state of clean energy in America, Pennsylvania ranks a lowly 50th in the nation for percent growth in total…
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‘A clean energy laggard:’ Pa. ranks 50th in U.S. for renewable energy growth

By Molly Bilinski 10/11/23
“Pennsylvania ranks the abysmal 50th in the nation for the percent growth in total solar, wind and geothermal generation since 2013,” said Ellie Kerns, a climate and clean energy associate, PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center.…
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New Pennsylvania Legislation Aims to Classify ‘Produced Water’ From Fracking as Hazardous Waste

By Jake Bolster 09/06/23
Katie Muth knew it would be a long shot. This January, the Pennsylvania state senator reintroduced three pieces of legislation aimed at closing loopholes in the laws governing how the oil and gas industry disposes…
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Pennsylvania Solar for Schools Program Is a Win-Win-Win-Win

By Matthew Bourne 08/22/23
The Steelton-Highspire School District is located just outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In a move to overcome years of budget challenges, the districted recently installed 3500 solar panels on an old landfill.
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Gas leaked from bad fitting at Pennsylvania chocolate factory where 7 died in blast, report says

By Michael Rubinkam 07/18/23
Natural gas leaked from a defective fitting at a Pennsylvania chocolate factory where a powerful explosion leveled one building, heavily damaged another and killed seven people, federal safety investigators said Tuesday as they continued to…
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5 people were killed by raging floodwaters in southeastern Pennsylvania. 2 children are still missing

By Christina Maxouris and Others 07/16/23
Authorities in southeastern Pennsylvania are searching for a 2-year-old girl and her 9-month-old brother who vanished in raging floodwaters as a violent storm slammed the region.
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

A Small Pennsylvania College Is Breaking New Ground in Pursuit of a Clean Energy Campus – Inside Climate News

02/27/24
In the basement of Swarthmore College’s dining hall, a transformation is underway. As students eat lunch upstairs, beneath their feet, the school’s fossil fuel past is being replaced with its clean energy future.

What is community solar, and why do lawmakers want to bring it to Pennsylvania?

02/24/24
In Pennsylvania, more solar panels are installed on the roofs of homes and in utility-scale solar farms each year.

More than 100 groups protest Pennsylvania governor’s support of natural gas energy

02/15/24
More than 100 organizations — mostly environmental groups — in Pennsylvania sent a joint letter of protest to Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro on Feb. 15, saying his new 10-year economic development plan wrongly embraces fossil…

Rooftop Solar is Lagging Behind in Pennsylvania

02/13/24
Between 2017 and 2022, small-scale solar in Pennsylvania grew 2.3 times, according to our new report Rooftop Solar on the Rise. While any growth in solar is good, Pennsylvania isn’t keeping up with our neighboring…

Increasing alternative energy standards would bring billions in investment to Pennsylvania

02/05/24
The governor of Pennsylvania has made a campaign pledge of 30% renewable energy by 2030. While 30% is not overly ambitious, three business groups crunched the numbers and found that, if enacted, more than $13.1…

PENNSYLVANIA HITS SOLAR ENERGY MILESTONE. ADVOCATES SAY THERE’S MUCH MORE TO DO

01/10/24
Pennsylvania now has 1 gigawatt of solar energy capacity–enough to power all the homes in a city as big as Pittsburgh.

PA. LAWMAKERS DEBATE PROPOSAL TO RAISE STATE’S RENEWABLE ENERGY GOAL

01/03/24
A bill in the state House would increase the amount of electricity Pennsylvania gets from renewable sources. The proposal would up Pennsylvania’s renewable energy goals from 8% now to 30% by 2030.

Analysis says clean energy dollars are flowing into Pa., but results remain to be seen

12/12/23
Federal tax credits meant to drive investment to energy communities and low income areas are working, according to recent analyses.

Standard Solar buys project at Pennsylvania uni from EDF Renewables

06/21/23
Standard Solar, a Brookfield Renewable company, has acquired a 2.61-MW solar project at the Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from EDF Renewables North America, part of Electricite de France SA (EPA:EDF).

As feds move toward decision on hydrogen hubs, players jockey for PA policy

06/15/23
As Pennsylvania vies for a slice of $8 billion in federal funding to build out a hydrogen hub, elected officials and interest groups representing industry, labor and environmental advocacy are jockeying for policy that could…

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announces funding for local education projects

06/01/23
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded over $1 million in funding to over 70 projects statewide, including 10 projects in the south-central region of the state.

Pa. lawmakers examine climate issues related to proposed hydrogen hub

06/01/23
As Pennsylvania competes to become a federally-designated hydrogen hub, state lawmakers are looking into the role hydrogen can play in the state’s energy future.

Pennsylvania State Grange Talks Solar at Energy Conference

05/31/23
The Pennsylvania State Grange was asked to comment on solar energy development at the America’s Rural Energy Coalition national conference, which was held May 3-4.

Will sunshine be the cure? A large solar farm is in the works at Western Pa.’s largest waste coal pile

05/21/23
Given its reputation as the biggest pile of coal waste east of the Mississippi, the Champion Processing gob pile in Washington County has had a remarkable number of hopes built on top of its black…

‘Green Steel’ Would Curb Carbon Emissions, Spur Economic Revival in Southwest Pennsylvania, Study Says – Inside Climate News

04/17/23
Pennsylvania’s steel industry has the potential to lead a national transition to reduce or even eliminate carbon emissions if it switched to making so-called green steel, according to a report issued Monday by the Ohio…

Officials discuss renewable energy projects coming to all PA counties

04/12/23
President Joe Biden says his goal is to have the United States fully transition to renewable energy by the year 2050 and Pennsylvania State Representative Chris Rabb believes that can happen.

New interactive map highlights renewable energy projects across Pennsylvania

04/11/23
The PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center unveiled a new interactive map called “Clean Energy Commonwealth”, that shows a renewable energy or energy-efficient project in each of our 67 counties.

Lawmaker introduces bill to 100% transition Pennsylvania to renewable energy

04/03/23
State Rep. Christopher M. Rabb (D-Philadelphia) introduced a bill on Monday, April 3, that would make Pennsylvania transition completely to renewable energy by 2050.

Pa. Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal includes Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

03/07/23
Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed budget assumes Pennsylvania will charge power plants for their carbon dioxide pollution and raise more than $600 million in the next year.

Pa. lawmakers hear challenges to electric grid reliability; experts call for clear policy

03/02/23
State lawmakers are questioning electricity reliability after a winter storm around Christmas left more than 100,000 people without power.

Promoting energy, protecting environment not mutually exclusive

02/10/23
In a press release, sent out after a recent meeting with Gov. Josh Shapiro’s nominees to oversee the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Sen. Gene Yaw said…

Tracking Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s biggest campaign promises

02/10/23
Gov. Josh Shapiro made a lot of promises on the campaign trail. Now, he faces the new challenge of keeping them.

The rocky road to recycled: Where do bottles, cans and cardboard really go?

02/08/23
On a typical trash collection day, neighborhoods are lined with blue or green recycling bins filled with plastic water bottles and milk jugs, beer bottles and aluminum cans. There are also takeout containers, styrofoam packing…

RE Royalties Acquires New Royalty on 27MW Solar Project in Pennsylvania

02/06/23
The Company has entered into a secured loan agreement (the "Loan") with Teichos whereby the Company will provide a USD $1.8 million letter of credit ("LC") on behalf of Teichos to meet their security requirement…

In Pennsylvania, a New Administration Fuels Hopes for Tougher Rules on Energy, Environment – Inside Climate News

By Jon Hurdle 02/01/23
On Christmas Day 2022, part of a natural gas processing plant in Washington County, Pennsylvania caught fire, igniting a vapor cloud and prompting a response by the local fire department, a shutdown by the owner…

In Pennsylvania, heat pumps could be a climate change solution

01/24/23
Jason Nadzam stood recently in a cavernous workshop at Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills complex near the Pittsburgh International Airport. A group of 12 students gathered around him for a morning of training…

Pennsylvania’s energy debate enters cautiously optimistic era

01/18/23
Though warm feelings of bipartisanship quickly fell apart in the state House earlier this month, hope remains for a working relationship between Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro.

Pa. County Agencies Unite for 15-MW Solar Buy

01/17/23
A group of 15 local government agencies in Pennsylvania are pooling their purchasing power to procure more than 15 MW of solar energy.

With strong climate policies, Governor Shapiro can help Pennsylvania win the future

01/13/23
As Pennsylvania turns a new page into 2023 with new leaders at the helm, Gov. Josh Shapiro and the legislature have an immense opportunity and responsibility to usher Pennsylvania into its future — winning the…

Sheetz enters renewable supply deal with Constellation

02/18/22
Popular mid-Atlantic restaurant and convenience store chain, Sheetz, has come to a long-term renewable energy supply agreement with Constellation, enough to power nearly 70% of the chain’s Pennsylvania facilities with renewable energy.

Solar indulgences for fossil sins in Pennsylvania

02/01/22
Legislation has been submitted in Pennsylvania that would force the State to sell the renewable energy certificates it purchased from solar projects to third parties, and use the cash to pay for the capping of…

Gov. Wolf vetoes resolution he says will delay climate action in Pa.

01/10/22
Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a Pennsylvania Senate resolution today that he says will delay critical climate action in the commonwealth. According to a press release from the governor's office, Senate Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1…

Giant Co. to Power Pennsylvania Ops With Renewable Energy

11/04/21
The Giant Co. has entered into a long-term renewable energy supply agreement with competitive energy and energy solutions provider Constellation to power the grocer’s Pennsylvania operations, including select stores, fuel stations and a perishable distribution…

Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan

11/02/21
Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan 2021 outlines a pathway to reaching Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas reduction goals: 26 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels. Read the complete plan or a booklet overview.

Wolf calls for action on climate change

09/24/21
Gov. Tom Wolf called on all sectors of Pennsylvania life to join him in acting on climate change. “As thousands of Pennsylvanians try to recover from historic flooding and tornadoes related to the remnants of…

Nuclear Is the Bastion of Pennsylvania’s Newest Climate Action Plan

By Sonal Patel 09/23/21
Pennsylvania, a major power producer that relied on fossil fuels for 66% of its net power generation in June, plans to maintain its nuclear generation at current levels until it can ramp up other carbon-free…

Gov. Wolf Announces ‘Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan 2021,’ Calls for Statewide Action Now on Climate Change

09/22/21
Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan 2021 and called for statewide action on climate change by all sectors: legislative, government, industry, business, agriculture, and community organizations. “As thousands of Pennsylvanians try…

Wolf administration announces Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan 2021

09/22/21
The Wolf administration is calling for statewide changes to fight climate change. It says without implementing an action plan, greenhouse gases will lead to increased temperatures, flooding and other serious issues.

Senate overwhelmingly passes ag climate bill

By Jacqui Fatka 06/24/21
When the Senate can achieve 55 co-sponsors and 92 votes in favor of a bill, it must be significant. And for farmers, the advanced Growing Climate Solutions Act fresh off the Senate floor could be…

New legislation would commit Pa. to investing in workforce development while combating climate change

By NCPA Staff 06/22/21
Last week, Pennsylvania Democrats endorsed new legislation from State Sen. Carolyn Comitta and State Rep. Dianne Herrin, which proposes using credit fees from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to help communities that are impacted…

30 Sustainable Actions You Can Do Right Now

04/08/21
30 Ways to Live More Sustainably

Gov. Wolf Announces Largest Government Solar Energy Commitment in the U.S.

03/22/21
Governor Tom Wolf announced today a major clean energy initiative that will produce nearly 50 percent of state government’s electricity through seven new solar energy arrays totaling 191-megawatts to be built around the state.

Preparing for Climate Change in Pennsylvania

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Pennsylvania is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

UPenn Climate Action Plan

03/20/19
Since the 2009 launch of the University’s first Climate Action Plan, Penn can look back on a remarkable array of accomplishments, and forward to a path of continual improvement in its environmental performance. Upon becoming the…

Climate Action Plan and Climate Impacts

03/20/19
As required by the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act of 2008, the DEP and the Climate Change Advisory Committee produced a Climate Change Action Plan and submitted it to the governor in 2009.

KEY RESOURCES

Pennsylvania Solar Panels Pricing and Incentives

02/09/22
Solar panels can help homeowners save money on energy costs and help the environment at the same time. Are you wondering whether solar panels are right for you? Keep reading to learn more about the…

Pennsylvania State Energy Profile

10/21/21
Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, reached a record 7.1 trillion cubic feet in 2020, and the state is the nation's second-largest natural gas producer after Texas. Pennsylvania is the third-largest…

Pennsylvania State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/19/21
Pennsylvania, endowed with extensive fossil energy resources, is a leading East Coast supplier of coal, natural gas, electricity, and refined petroleum products to the nation. The Appalachian Mountains run diagonally southwest to northeast through Pennsylvania,…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

BYEEEEE, plastics!

07/07/21
Starting July 1st, Philly will be giving plastic bags the boot... sort of. 🚫🛍️ ICYMI legislation to ban the bag (for carryout items such as food, clothing, home goods, etc.) passed in December 2019 but…

How Philadelphia is Prioritizing Resiliency: An Interview with Saleem Chapman

03/21/21
How can the City of Philadelphia prioritize building an equitable city alongside battling the climate crisis? The City of Philadelphia has established its first Chief Resiliency Officer to prioritize environmental justice work alongside climate mitigation,…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Pennsylvania

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Pennsylvania experienced eight severe storms and two winter storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Pennsylvania

08/06/20
Pennsylvania climate and energy facts

What is RE100?

02/28/20
How Your Organization Can Achieve 100% Renewable Power

Renewables Work for PA

02/27/20
We urge the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Governor to modernize Pennsylvania's renewable energy goals: 30% renewable energy by 2030, 10% in-state solar with at least 2.5% coming from distributed solar energy, Exploration of renewable…

PennFuture

02/27/20
PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations.

PennEnvironment

02/27/20
PennEnvironment’s mission is to transform the power of our imaginations and our ideas into change that makes our world a greener and healthier place for all. We make the case for our environment and help…

Renewable Energy

02/27/20
Information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on solar and wind energy that is helpful for navigating the transition to these sources.

Renewable Energy

02/27/20
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection explains what renewable energy is and how Pennsylvanians can start to transition to it.

MORE NEWS

Secretive state climate talks stir discontent with Pennsylvania governor

By Kiley Bense   06/19/23  
Three weeks after he was elected governor last fall, Josh Shapiro held a press conference in Montrose, Pa., to announce what he called a historic settlement with the oil and gas company Coterra Energy.
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Pennsylvania’s largest coal plant to shut down

By Susan Phillips   06/17/23  
Opened in 1969 as a base load power plant designed to provide electricity to large areas of Pennsylvania and New York, the Homer City Generating Station in Indiana County is shutting its doors. Part of…
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Pennsylvanians asked to cut water use as state enters drought watch

By Rachel McDevitt   06/15/23  
The state finally got some rain in the last week, but the Department of Environmental Protection say it’s not enough to make up for low precipitation last winter and spring.
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Republican lawmakers want to replace ‘protection’ with ‘services’ at DEP

By Rachel McDevitt   06/14/23  
Republican lawmakers want to change the name of the Department of Environmental Protection.
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Pennsylvania Expects $400 Million in Infrastructure Funds to Begin Plugging Thousands of Abandoned Oil Wells

By Stacey Burling   06/11/23  
Nearly a year ago, residents of New Freeport, Pennsylvania, a little town about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh, learned about one of the many dangers of abandoned oil and gas wells the hard way.
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Virginia wants to break up with RGGI but in Pennsylvania, it’s complicated

By Maxine Joselow   06/08/23  
In today’s edition, we have an exclusive on Republicans pressing the Environmental Protection Agency on its power plant rules. We also have updates on the air pollution from Canadian wildfires blanketing the East Coast. But…
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Shell agrees to pay $10 million for air pollution at massive new Pennsylvania petrochemical plant

By Michael Rubinkam   05/25/23  
Shell has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve allegations that it polluted the air around its massive new petrochemical refinery in western Pennsylvania, the administration of Gov. Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.
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Philly will have more heat waves, and the Delaware projected to rise more than a foot over the next 25 years

By Frank Kummer   05/25/23  
The Delaware River could rise well more than a foot by midcentury, and temperatures could heat up nearly 6 degrees, accompanied by a rise in extreme heat days, according to a new report that localized…
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As EPA Proposes Tougher Rules on Emissions, Report Names Pennsylvania as One of America’s Top Polluters

By Victoria St. Martin   05/16/23  
Pennsylvania’s role as the birthplace of American democracy is a staple of elementary school history lessons. Fewer are aware of another distinction held by the Keystone State—that as one of the cradles of American energy…
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Home energy use can be expensive and contribute to climate change. New programs aim to cut bills and emissions

By Rachel McDevitt   05/11/23  
Eddie and Kristy Riley knew they wanted to start and raise their family in State College, but for a long time, owning a home in the borough seemed out of reach.
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Report: Pennsylvania ranked fourth nationally in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020

By Harrison Cann   05/10/23  
Pennsylvania ranked fourth in the nation in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, with just 12 facilities making up nearly one-fifth of the commonwealth’s total pollution, according to a new report by the PennEnvironment Research &…
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Power plants among the largest industrial climate polluters in Pennsylvania

By Sophia Schmidt   05/10/23  
Power plants and big industrial facilities in Pennsylvania release millions of tons of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report that ranks the top climate polluters in the state.
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In Pa., climate change threatens the state tree, bird and fish. Work is under way to help the native species

By Karen Hendricks   05/08/23  
Under a clear blue sky, feathery eastern hemlock branches gracefully extend over a crystal-clear stream. A silvery brook trout leaps to the surface, and in a meeting of icons, the state fish emerges from the…
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Will the Chesapeake Bay Become a Dead Zone?

By Duy Linh Tu and Sebastian Tuinder   05/03/23  
The country’s largest estuary is under critical threat from pollution and climate change. The question is: Can it be saved? In the 4,500-square-mile Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary, nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater treatment…
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SB 119/HB 637 Is a Dead End. PA Needs Good Climate Policy.

By Mark Szybist   04/27/23  
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 119 and its House counterpart, House Bill 637, bear the Orwellian title, "the Pennsylvania Carbon Dioxide Cap and Trade Authorization Act." In fact, the purpose of the legislation is to strip the…
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Pa. to get $6 million in grants for climate change planning from the Environmental Protection Agency

By Rachel McDevitt   04/17/23  
From the Poconos to the Jersey Shore to the mouth of the Delaware Bay, what do you want to know about climate change? What would you like us to cover? Get in touch.
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PennEnvironment unveils interactive map of clean energy projects across Pa.

By Daily Times   04/12/23  
PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center has unveiled Clean Energy Commonwealth, an interactive map that highlights one renewable energy or energy efficiency project in each county of the Keystone State. With this map, Pennsylvanians can explore…
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Pa. officials seek environmental justice concerns to shape climate planning

By Rachel McDevitt   04/07/23  
Shapiro Administration representatives plan to make seven stops across the state this month to look for the most effective ways to help environmental justice areas be resilient to the effects of climate disruption.
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Climate change could threaten Philly’s drinking water

By Sophia Schmidt   04/05/23  
A chemical spill along the Delaware River late last month came close to infiltrating Philadelphia’s main drinking water intake. But industrial contamination is not the only threat to the city’s drinking water. Another risk increasingly…
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Pa. environmental protection head pitches permit reform during budget hearing

By Rachel McDevitt   03/27/23  
The Department of Environmental Protection’s new leader emphasized his management experience during a recent hearing on the agency’s proposed budget.
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What climate change means for Pennsylvania’s spring wildflowers

By Amanda Waltz   03/22/23  
Spring flowers are always a welcome sight, but not when the winter season still has its grip on a region. Throughout February and March, nature lovers in Pittsburgh and throughout southwestern Pennsylvania have noticed the…
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NASA Awards Advance 3D Printing, Quantum Tech for Climate Research

03/16/23  
New technology is a key to helping NASA advance its long-term exploration goals for the benefit of all. To support its effort, the agency announced Thursday it will create two new institutes to develop technology…
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Feds Approve $950M Pa.-NJ Gas Line Expansion, Despite State Caution

By Debra K . Rubin   03/14/23  
Opponents of a $950-million natural gas pipeline system expansion in Pennsylvania and New Jersey will ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its Jan. 11 approval of the project, noting one state's earlier argument…
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Gov. Shapiro Avoids Climate Change, Hypes Hydrogen In Budget Address

By Justin Heinze   03/07/23  
In his first budget address since taking office, Gov. Josh Shapiro wholly avoided mentioning climate change, touted hydrogen as a viable green energy solution, and pointed to methane leaks from abandoned wells while declining to…
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Pennsylvania ranks near bottom of states in renewable energy generation

By Rachel McDevitt   03/06/23  
Pennsylvania ranks near the bottom of states when it comes to generating renewable energy. Data from the federal Energy Information Administration shows Pennsylvania comes in 45th in the country in energy production from wind, solar,…
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In Pennsylvania, Home to the Nation’s First Oil Well, Environmental Activists Stage a ‘People’s Filibuster’ at the Bustling State Capitol

By Kiley Bense   03/02/23  
n the East Wing of the ornate Pennsylvania State Capitol, Karen Feridun stood at a simple podium and read an essay aloud as part of what she and other environmental activists were calling a “People’s…
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Climate change in Pa.: The flood-prone Susquehanna River watershed poses a widespread challenge

By Karen Hendricks   03/01/23  
It’s one of Harrisburg’s most treasured, beloved landmarks. The Susquehanna River is the longest river east of the Mississippi. Its basin — an immense 27,510 square miles —encompasses half of Pennsylvania, along with portions of…
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Philadelphia is on track to cut emissions by 50% by 2030, according to a 2022 Progress Update of the Municipal Energy Master Plan

By Julie Hancher   02/23/23  
The city is making progress on three of its four energy goals and announced a new executive order on new buildings and renovation projects. Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability released its Municipal Energy Master Plan 2022…
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The plastic train wreck should be a wake-up call

02/17/23  
Thanks to a mountain of deadlines a mile high, I haven't yet been able to focus as much attention on the East Palestine train derailment as I'd like, but two things were very clear to…
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The Coming Chemical Boom

02/16/23  
Shale gas fueled a boom in the drilling industry and has provided cheaper fuel, displacing dirtier coal to generate electricity. It’s also feeding a spinoff industry in chemicals. Shell is building a multi-billion-dollar petrochemical plant…
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Orphan Well Cleanup in Pennsylvania Underscores Enormity of Task

By Bobby Magill   02/10/23  
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the Pittsburgh area Thursday to announce the plugging of the first 10 abandoned oil and gas wells in the area paid for with funds from the 2021 infrastructure law.
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Pennsylvania Advocates Issue Intent to Sue Shell’s New Petrochemical Plant Outside Pittsburgh for Emissions Violations – Inside Climate News

By Jon Hurdle   02/03/23  
Two environmental groups said on Thursday they intend to sue Shell Chemical Appalachia, operator of a big new petrochemical plant near Pittsburgh, for its violation of federal and state air-quality standards. The Environmental Integrity Group…
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In Pennsylvania, a New Administration Fuels Hopes for Tougher Rules on Energy, Environment – Inside Climate News

By Jon Hurdle   02/01/23  
On Christmas Day 2022, part of a natural gas processing plant in Washington County, Pennsylvania caught fire, igniting a vapor cloud and prompting a response by the local fire department, a shutdown by the owner…
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How Pittsburgh found a secret climate weapon in ‘the thrilling world of municipal budgeting’

By Claire Elise Thompson   01/27/23  
Governments the world over have made a lot of great-sounding climate commitments. In Pittsburgh, for example, an ambitious plan adopted in 2018 outlines objectives like 100 percent renewable energy in municipal facilities by 2030, a…
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Five takeaways from the Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 FY22 Annual Report

01/20/23  
The University-wide report outlines progress during the last year toward sustainability goals made in academics, waste minimization, utilities and operations, purchasing, transportation, and outreach and engagement.
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In Pennsylvania, Hopes Rise But Questions Remain About New Governor’s Environmental Agenda

By Audrey Carleton   01/20/23  
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro campaigned on an environmental platform propped up by green jobs, innovation on the road to decarbonization, promises to plug the state’s hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells and…
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PA Among Nation’s Worst In Water Efficiency, Conservation: New Study

By Justin Heinze   01/19/23  
A grim new study once again paints a dark picture of Pennsylvania's conservation, water use, and environmental future.
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‘Methane Menace’ Produces Massive Emissions in Pennsylvania Leak

12/15/22  
A 13-day leak from a 4.1-centimetre vent on a fossil gas storage well in rural Pennsylvania dumped more than 28.3 million cubic metres of methane into the atmosphere last month, enough to erase the emission…
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Climate change prompts Pa. farmers to adapt crops and businesses

By Rachel McDevitt   11/07/22  
Hugh McPherson’s father planted the first apple orchards on the family farm in southern York County about 30 years ago, choosing varieties such as Red Chief, Smoothee Gold, and McIntosh.
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A New Shell Plant in Pennsylvania Will Soon Become the State’s Second Largest Emitter of Volatile Organic Chemicals

By Reid Frazier   10/16/22  
Shell’s ethane cracker is scheduled to come online soon, producing up to 1.6 million metric tons of plastic pellets a year. The plant will produce this plastic by processing ethane, a component of the natural…
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How the Promise of a Clean Energy Future in Pennsylvania Could Be Undone by Politics

By Audrey Carleton   10/12/22  
The most ambitious climate bill in history has the potential to accelerate Pennsylvania’s transition to a green economy or keep it tied to fossil fuel production, depending on shifting political dynamics and the influence of…
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In Pa., climate change can increase flooding risk in places that rarely worried about it. This community is seeking solutions

By Rachel McDevitt   09/13/22  
The intense storms that cause flash floods are likely to become more common in Pennsylvania with climate change, and they’re happening outside historical floodplains. ...
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A Pipeline Giant Pleads ‘No Contest’ to Environmental Crimes in Pennsylvania After Homeowners Complained of Tainted Water

By Jon Hurdle   08/10/22  
Lora Snyder never had a problem with the water that supplies her house from a private well until an Energy Transfer subsidiary, Sunoco Pipeline, started in 2018 to drill a tunnel about 1,000 feet away…
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A Collision of Economics and History: In Pennsylvania, the Debate Over Climate is a Bitter One

By David Shribman   07/17/22  
This is a state where natural gas production reached a record 7.1 trillion cubic feet in 2020, the most of any state outside Texas and more than the energy supplied by the state’s nuclear power…
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Rodale Institute set for Pennsylvania to become the Silicon Valley of organic farming

By Keith Dmochowski   07/13/22  
Pennsylvania is poised to become the Silicon Valley of organic farming, thanks to spiking consumer demand and state-funded resources for farmers looking to grow organic, according to Jeff Tkach, chief information officer with the Rodale…
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Pa. schools have doubled their solar power use since 2020

By Ladimir Garcia   05/22/22  
According to a new report by clean energy nonprofit Generation180, the amount of solar installed at K-12 schools in Pennsylvania almost doubled from 2020-2022, with Pittsburgh’s Woodland Hills School District listed as one of its…
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A Regenerative Grazing Revolution Is Taking Root in the Mid-Atlantic

By Lisa Held   03/30/22  
In western Maryland this March, the proverbial lion and lamb seemed to be running circles around each other. Instead of warming up gradually, the temperature rose and fell unpredictably. Warm sun alternated with freezing rain.…
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Democrats spar over climate crisis, Supreme Court at U.S. Senate debate in Pittsburgh

By Lucy Perkins   03/21/22  
Four of the Democratic candidates hoping to represent Pennsylvania in the Senate sparred over climate change policy and the structure of the nation’s Supreme Court at Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday afternoon — the first…
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Hydropower Eyes Bigger Energy Role, Less Environmental Harm

03/20/22  
Rye Development, a Boston-based hydropower company, is retrofitting the dams with turbines to generate electricity and says the upgraded structures will limit damage to the rivers’ water quality and fish.
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Pennsylvania is revising its environmental justice policy. Here’s what’s changing

By Sophia Schmidt   03/18/22  
It’s your last chance to comment on the state’s policy for engagement with residents of poor communities and communities of color that face disproportionate environmental hazards. Officials with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released…
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