Our environment is a finite resource and the Pennsylvania Constitution mandates that “people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”
The General Assembly must take this directive seriously and the Senate Democrats are leading on many fronts.
Fighting Climate Change
Climate Change is real. Denial only delays the inevitable and increases the price tag and technical difficulty of the eventual solution, if it’s not too late already. Greenhouse gases from human activity are the primary driver of climate change. Worldwide, net emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities increased by 35 percent from 1990 to 2010. Emissions of carbon dioxide, which account for about three-fourths of total emissions, increased by 42 percent over this period. The Senate Democrats have a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emission now, and it must be implemented. It’s time to move toward renewable sources of energy, which ultimately enhances our energy independence.
Severance for Growing Greener
A tax on an environmental resource should be used to benefit the environment. We should impose a severance tax to fund a new round of Growing Greener programs. This should include renewable energy investments, cleaning up legacy pollution, protecting and improving watersheds and open spaces, and helping our agricultural industry.
The Marcellus Shale drilling boom and hydraulic fracking have set off a massive pipeline construction surge that is intruding and threatening many communities. Pipelines are encroaching on residential communities, schools, and water sources creating potential hazards that must be addressed. Environmental laws and regulators must keep up with this new phase of construction to protect communities, families, and our children.
Addressing Lead Contamination and Protecting Drinking Water
Flint, Michigan has turned out to not be an isolated incident. Many communities in Pennsylvania have lead contamination issues that have to be addressed to protect our drinking water. Often taken for granted, an we’ve made enormous investments to deliver water. More needs to be done to remove lead from drinking water systems and to protect children from its developmental impacts.
Maintaining the State Forest Drilling Moratorium
Pennsylvania has an amazing treasure in our state forests and parks. Much space has already been leased away in our forests for gas drilling development. What is left must be protected for the enjoyment and use of our many recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and off-roading.
Our Members at Work
NORTH WALES – February 14, 2019 – The acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Andrew Wheeler, today announced the EPA’s intended nationwide PFAS action plan. Addressing the urgent PFAS crisis is Senator Maria Collett’s (D-12) top...read more
CLAIRTON, February 7, 2019 – With an overflow crowd of steel workers and concerned citizens in attendance at Clairton City Hall, a joint state Senate-House Democratic Policy Committee hearing was held today on ways to improve air quality, community notification...read more
In the wake of the Clairton Coke Works fire, the state Senate and House Democratic Policy committees will hold a joint public hearing on ways to improve air quality, community notification procedures and emergency response. The hearing is scheduled for noon on...read more
WEST CHESTER, January 2, 2019 – State Senators Andy Dinniman and Tom Killion announced today that they have introduced a comprehensive legislative package aimed at reforming Pennsylvania’s pipeline regulatory process to improve safety at schools and in local...read more
HARRISBURG– November 28, 2018 – At the request of state Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee today held a hearing in Pittsburgh on local and state efforts to address climate change. The full policy hearing can be viewed...read more
Harrisburg – Nov. 28, 2018 – Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. (D-Allegheny) released the following statement regarding the adoption of the report from a select commission that examined issues impacting fire and emergency services. Costa served as a member...read more
HARRISBURG, November 21, 2018 – At the request of state Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee will hold a hearing in Pittsburgh next week on local and state efforts to address climate change. “In the absence of federal leadership...read more
PITTSBURGH, September 27, 2018 – Senator Wayne D. Fontana (D-Pittsburgh) this evening received the Clean Water Action organization’s “Dewey Award.” The award is granted to individuals who are proven champions of the environment within their community. “Throughout my...read more
PITTSBURGH, September 26, 2018 --- The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public meeting in Pittsburgh today regarding a proposal to eliminate fuel economy standards on vehicles; Senator Costa submitted written testimony in opposition as he was unable to...read more
HARRISBURG - September 25, 2018 – There is an ongoing and organized effort in Harrisburg to marginalize and villainize any organizations who raises safety concerns or opposition to the growing network of natural gas pipelines crisscrossing Pennsylvania, state...read more
Harrisburg - Protecting Pennsylvania’s natural resources and ensuring a sustainable environment for future generations is a priority for the Pennsylvania Senate Democrats. Lawmakers have called on the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee to bring Growing...read more
WEST CHESTER (May 29, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman said he would fight Sunoco’s attempts to appeal a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) judge’s order to halt operation of the Mariner East 1 pipeline and prohibit construction of the Mariner East 2 and...read more
Nanticoke, April 6, 2018 — State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) announced today that four projects in Luzerne County will receive over $7.8 million in funding for environmental cleanup and revitalization of abandoned mine lands from the Department of...read more
WEST CHESTER (March 23, 2018) – Opposition to Sunoco’s Mariner East Pipeline project doesn’t stop at the Pennsylvania or even U.S. border, according to state Senator Andy Dinniman, who said that his office has been contacted by individuals concerned about the pipeline...read more
HARRISBURG (March 20, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman said today’s joint hearing of the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Consumer Protection and Licensure Committees highlighted the dire need for stronger pipeline safety laws in...read more
HARRISBURG, PA − March 20, 2018 – State Sen. Christine Tartaglione has secured a $92,000 Pennsylvania grant that will enable a self-storage facility in Northeast Philadelphia’s Crescentville section to install a quarter-million-dollar solar array on its roof. The Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded the Solar Energy Program on March 16. It will support matching funds supplied by the recipient, CubeSmart TRS, Inc., of Malvern, Pa.read more
HARRISBURG (March 16, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that four solar energy projects in Chester County will receive more than $1 million in total state funding. “These investments can go a long way in encouraging businesses to transition to solar...read more
HARRISBURG (March 19, 2018) – The Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy and Consumer Protection and Licensure Committees will hold a joint public hearing on pipeline safety tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20 at 11 a.m. The hearing will take place in Hearing...read more
Harrisburg- March 16, 2018 - State Sen. Jim Brewster (D- Allegheny/Westmoreland) announced today that Extra Space Management, Inc. of West Mifflin Borough in Allegheny County will receive a $84,176 grant for the installation of a rooftop photovoltaic power generation...read more
HARRISBURG, March 16, 2018 – Sen. John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) announced a solar energy grant has been approved for the engineering and installation of roof-top solar energy panels at Roosevelt Mall. “I am thrilled that Roosevelt Mall was selected as the recipient...read more