Category Archives: Energy

Leading the charge to a 100% renewable energy future for Pennsylvania

from PennEnvironment, 2/19/19

Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the country, but that could all change this legislative session.

PennEnvironment is reintroducing legislation in both the House and Senate this session that will require Pennsylvania to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. This legislation couldn’t come soon enough, with recent reports such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s, that show that climate change’s effect are not in the distant future as previously thought.

A commitment to renewable energy at this level would make Pennsylvania a leader in clean energy, and, as a state that depended largely on coal until more recent years, serve as a primary example of how states can take action to drastically reduce their emissions.

“We’re not California. We’re not Hawaii,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment, to CBS News. “When you have a purple state that Trump won, where the General Assembly is dominated by conservative Republicans, it’s significant and shows that other states with a history of fossil fuel production can lead the way.”

Just one month into the new legislative session, the bill already has more than 50 cosponsors.

Read more here from Environment America.

Uwchlan becomes sixth Chesco municipality to set renewable energy target

Daily Local News, Feb 13, 2019

UWCHLAN—Uwchlan supervisors Monday night unanimously endorsed a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in line with international and national commitments to head off a worsening climate crisis.

Despite the falling snow, residents came out to show their support for this decision and expressed gratitude for the vision and leadership of the Board of Supervisors both in trying to reduce the immediate dangers of expanding pipelines and to prevent the impact of extreme weather due to climate disruption resulting from carbon and methane emissions.

The resolution calls for the development of an energy transition plan to be prepared for review by April 22, 2020 (Earth Day) which will include interim milestones, financial impacts, equity metrics, potential financing mechanisms and the percentage of clean energy to be locally produced.

Uwchlan’s Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) recommended the Board consider the resolution after consulting other communities who passed similar energy management targets both within the county and elsewhere.

More than 100 cities and municipalities across the nation and in Southeastern PA have pledged to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Six communities have already achieved the goal of 100 percent renewable electricity, including Burlington, VT, Georgetown TX and Greensburg, Kansas.

The Supervisors noted that momentum is building in Pennsylvania for a renewable energy future. Uwchlan joins Kennett Township, Downingtown, West Chester, East Bradford and Phoenixville in Chester County in setting specific targets for 100 percent clean and renewable energy community-wide. …

read more at Daily Local News

New Sinkhole Opens Up Along Mariner East 1 In Chester County

By Justin Heinze, Patch, Jan 21, 2019

A new sinkhole has opened up along the Mariner East 1 pipeline in Chesco, in the same area that lawmakers noted safety concerns last year.

CHESTER COUNTY, PA — Yet another sinkhole has opened up along the Mariner East 1 pipeline funneling natural gas through Chester County, causing it to shut down. The sinkhole is in the same area that lawmakers noted safety concerns last summer, before the pipeline was allowed to continue operations.

This episode occurred on Sunday in West Whiteland Township on Lisa Drive.

Its the latest incident connected to the controversial pipeline, which, along with Sunoco’s other constrction that runs through Chester County, has led to bipartisan calls for greater oversight and fueled a criminal investigation into Sunoco. …

keep reading at Patch

Criminal Investigation Opened Into Sunoco, Chester Co. Pipelines

By Justin Heinze, Patch, Dec 19, 2018

Breaking: Sunoco is now under investigation in Chester County for potential crimes in the construction of the Mariner East pipelines.

CHESTER COUNTY, PA — After years of controversy, environmental damage, and public calls for government action, Sunoco is now under investigation in Chester County for potential crimes in the construction of the Mariner East pipelines.

Sunoco has been the focus of ire of local environmentalists and state lawmakers for some time, following numerous drilling fluid spills, sinkholes, the contamination of drinking water, and more.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman has led the charge in what he has previously termed a “David vs. Goliath” fight against Sunoco and their drilling operations. That culminated last year with a judge ordering Sunoco to halt all operations, and then again this year with a $12.6 million fine against Sunoco for safety violations.

However, construction on Mariner East 2 has continued, and concerns over the pipeline persist.

“In the last two years, we have seen these pipelines rip through the heart of Chester County,” DA Tom Hogan said in a statement Wednesday. “We have seen sinkholes created by the pipeline drilling, contaminated well water, and some subtle and not-so-sublte bullying of Chester County citizens by big corporate interests.” …

read more at Patch

You’ll Never Even Know We Were Here,’ Sunoco Told Ginny. They Lied

Food and Water Watch, 12/2/18, 12/2/18

When Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners came to Chester and Delaware counties just outside of Philadelphia to push their plans to drill, they didn’t dream that Ginny and her community would put up the fight that they have. Now that these neighbors have had some success in tangling Sunoco’s plans, they’re planning to fight even harder to get the company’s pipelines out of their yards.

When Ginny Marcille-Kerslake looks back on the last two years of damage to her community, what upsets her the most is the fact that Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners lied to her.

“You’ll never even know we were here,” is what the fossil fuel corporation said, according to residents who were talked into getting on board with their underground drilling plan for the Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines, which would transport highly explosive liquids right through their community.

It’s become something of a sick punchline now that time has shown the havoc Sunoco/ETP would wreak on residents’ homes, yards, safety, and property values, not to mention their time, energy, and peace of mind….

read more at Food and Water Watch, 12/2/18

Methane sample letter to Gov. Wolf

Text of sample message in a petition for which signatures are being gathered by PennFuture:

Pennsylvania is the second largest natural gas producing state in the nation. Methane pollution, as well as harmful VOCs from this production, poses a serious risk to our climate and our health.

Thank you for adopting crucial oil and gas pollution standards to control methane, VOCs and other harmful pollutants from new and modified natural gas infrastructure. This action was a significant step in cutting climate-warming methane and harmful air pollution across Pennsylvania.

However, there is still a lot of work to do. While the Trump administration attempts to roll back existing federal methane standards, tens of thousands of existing natural gas wells, compressor stations, and auxiliary infrastructure across Pennsylvania continue to leak methane. A recent analysis from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) estimated that oil and gas facilities in Pennsylvania emit over 520,000 tons of methane annually. That figure is five times higher than what industry self-reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Regardless of the future of federal methane rollbacks, I implore you to direct DEP to develop a comprehensive rule to directly control methane from existing natural gas sources similar to the standards DEP developed for new and modified sources. Controlling VOCs, while excluding methane, will not fulfill your pledge to protect the environment and public health and curb climate change. By directly targeting methane, DEP would ensure the rule covers as many sources of methane across Pennsylvania as possible.

I urge you to continue your record of taking strong action on this issue by ensuring that DEP proposes a comprehensive rule that targets VOCs and methane from existing natural gas infrastructure.

“The Future of Energy,” Dec. 7

Friday, December 7
7:00 – 9:00pm
50 Sharpless St, West Chester, PA 19383

“The Future of Energy,” about clean energy. Sponsored by West Chester University, Sierra Club, PennFuture, PennEnvironment, and Don’t Spray Me!

Expert panel, Q&A, activities for children, refreshments, tour of the LEED-certified Business and Public Management Center, community group displays. Last in the fall 20-189 environmental film series; film at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30.

Park across Sharpless St. in the public parking garage or in metered spaces on Sharpless or Church St. (on-street parking should be free on this evening; check wording on the meter). More info from the film web site (and see trailer there):

A Film by Brett Mazurek, Missy Lahren, Maximilian DeArmon and Theo Badashi 64 Minutes Grades 7 – Adult The Future of Energy journeys across America to shine a light on the communities and individuals who are at the forefront of the clean energy revolution, taking practical steps to transition from fossil fuels to renewable power. Solar, wind and water could power the planet by the year 2050, according to experts in the film, substantially reducing carbon emissions. What’s needed is the social and political willpower to make the change on a large scale. Two model towns are highlighted for their exemplary steps towards clean energy: Greensburg, Kansas, and Lancaster, California.