Category Archives: PA Governor

Sierra Club Applauds Governor Wolf for Setting Statewide Climate Protection Goals

Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, January 8, 2019

Harrisburg, P.A.– Governor Wolf signed an executive order today committing Pennsylvania to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels, consistent with the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. The executive order also includes a provision re-establishing the Green Government Council, co-chaired by the Department of General Services, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Department of Environmental Protection. The goals of the council are to reduce energy consumption in state government by 21 percent, procure 40 percent of state agency energy use from renewables, and replace 25 percent of the state fleet with electric vehicles by 2025.

Pennsylvania marks, at least, the 17th state to commit to goals consistent with the Paris Climate Accord in the face of inaction on a federal level. After President Trump took office, the United States became the first country to withdraw from the Accord’s climate goals, drawing intense criticism internationally, and from many cities, states, and businesses here at home.

In response, Joanne Kilgour, Chapter Director of the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, responded with the following:

“The science is clear – climate change is happening all around us and affecting not only communities across Pennsylvania, but around the world. Governor Wolf’s commitment to serious climate action and reinstating the Green Government Council is a bold statement that signals Pennsylvania is going to do its part to curb climate change, which will cut other dangerous pollution and promote job growth across the state. Already, major cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have committed to meeting the Paris climate goals, and communities in Chester and Delaware Counties are leading the way by committing to 100 percent clean energy. Sierra Club is excited to support Governor Wolf in implementing this plan to slash carbon pollution. As an organization, we will continue to work for an energy future that is equitable and powered by 100 percent clean, renewable energy.”

Contact: Emily Pomilio, Sierra Club, (480) 286-0401, emily.pomilio@sierraclub.org
Joanne Kilgour, (412) 965-9973, joanne.kilgour@sierraclub.org
Tom Schuster, (814) 915-4231, tom.schuster@sierraclub.or

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.