News From PA House & Senate
The information you need to follow legislation in the House and Senate- starting with articles and NewsClips from last week--
Environment & Energy NewsClips--
-- DEP To Prohibit Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers With Unresolved Environmental Violations From Getting Conventional Well Plugging Contracts; 133 Companies Interested In Doing Well Plugging Work [PaEN]
-- Representative Of Conventional Oil & Gas Well Drillers Compares Their History In PA To The Holy Bible - But He Left Out Some Parts [PaEN]
-- Rep. Metcalfe: Declares Lame Duck Wolf’s Final Fake Budget, ‘Environmental Crusader’ Legacy As Absolute Failures [Should Give Taxpayer Funded Grants To Conventional Oil & Gas Well Drillers To Plug Wells Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Abandoned?]
-- Sen. Yaw: PA Shouldn’t Rely Solely On $395 Million In Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Funds To Plug Wells Abandoned By PA Conventional Oil & Gas Well Drillers [Should Prohibit The State From Owning Renewable Energy Credits To Generate More Money?]
-- PennLive Letter: Republican Bills Rob Clean Energy To Fund Cleanup Of Oil & Gas Wells Abandoned By Conventional Drillers
-- PennLive Guest Essay: Natural Gas Industry, Some PA Lawmakers Trying To Block Clean Energy Options - PennEnvironment
-- Chester County Press: Sen. Comitta Announces $1.3 Million For Watershed Protection Projects
-- Clean Air Council: Over 60 PA State, Local Elected Officials Called On EPA To Strengthen Oil & Gas Methane Rules
-- Legislative Audit Commission: Senate/House Now Have Record Cash Operating Surplus Of $233.6 Million As Of June 30, 2021 [$33.6 million more than 2020]
-- AP: Senate, House Have Record Cash Operating Surplus Of $233.6 Million Just Sitting Around
-- The Guardian: Rightwing Lobby Group ALEC Driving Laws To Blacklist Companies That Boycott The Oil Industry Thru Energy Discrimination Elimination Act [Watch For It In PA]
Top 10 Stories On Harrisburg/PA Politics Last Week--
Because In Politics Everything Is Connected To Everything Else--
-- Top 10 Stories: Harrisburg/PA Politics Reported By Local News Media Last Week [PaEN]
Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week
Solar Subscriber Program: House Bill 1161 (Mizgorski-R- Allegheny) authorizing the establishment of a local solar energy subscriber program was amended and reported from the House Appropriations Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action. [This bill is supported by utility companies and is not the bill preferred by clean energy advocates. Read more here]
Kills RGGI Carbon Pollution Reduction Regs: House Bill 637 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) which would kill the final Carbon Pollution Reduction Program covering power plants consistent with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was Removed from Table and referred to the House Appropriations Committee.
The bill was amended in a party line vote-- Republicans supporting-- to allocate $250 million from the COVID Response Restricted Account to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for these purposes--
-- $125 million for research, development, construction or site development of carbon dioxide and methane reduction technologies, including carbon capture, micro-grid nuclear power plants, sequestration, hydrogen fuel projects. At least $12.5 million shall be used for methane abatement projects from plugging abandoned gas wells.
-- $62.5 million for sewer and water infrastructure and stormwater mitigation, including riparian planting for carbon dioxide reduction, stream buffering and streambank restoration.
-- $62.5 million for assisting workers and communities impacted by electric generation or manufacturing plant closures, including training projects, extended unemployment benefits and investments in projects to redevelop the closed plant sites.
The amended bill is being held in Committee by Republicans as a possible compromise on the RGGI regulations they can point to as a way to solve the pollution problems caused by coal-fired power plants.
Redefining Water Pollution: House Bill 1842 (Zimmerman-R-Lancaster) would redefine water pollution to allow polluters to determine when spills are serious enough to notify DEP was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. [Read more here]
Adding Member To Reclamation Advisory Board: House Bill 668 (James-R-Venango) adding a coal refuse energy representative on DEP’s Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Universal Testing Of Children For Lead: Senate Bill 522 (Baker-R-Luzerne, Yudichak-I-Luzerne) requiring the testing of children and pregnant women for lead levels (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Prescriptive Easements: House Bill 598 (Oberlander-R-Clarion) would limit actions to create prescriptive easements to public entities like state agencies and local governments, not private entities was Tabled in the Senate.
House (March 21): House Bill 1161 (Mizgorski-R- Allegheny) authorizing the establishment of a local solar energy subscriber program [not preferred by clean energy advocates Read more here]; House Bill 2069 (Cutler-R- Lancaster) Amend Article III, Section 9, to exempt the disapproval of a regulation by the General Assembly from the presentment requirement for the governor’s approval or disapproval [Read more here]; House Bill 2070 (Cutler- R-Lancaster) Amend Article IV, to add a new section providing that any executive order or proclamation issued by the governor, which purports to have the force of law, may not be in effect for more than 21 days, unless extended by concurrent resolution of the General Assembly [Read more here]. <> Click Here for full House Bill Calendar.
Senate (March 28): Senate Bill 284 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would load up renewable energy projects, energy efficiency products and high-efficiency locomotives with bonds to prevent their development [Read more here]; Senate Bill 597 (Stefano-R-Fayette) would impose conflicting and expensive requirements on small water and wastewater systems for no benefit to their customers and if they can’t comply they would come under the regulation of the Public Utility Commission Read more here]; Senate Bill 1030 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) to temporarily suspend Pennsylvania’s regulations which adopted California regulations related to heavy-duty vehicle diesel controls, leaving the federal standards to govern while the suspension is in effect [Read more here]; House Bill 221 (Rader-R-Monroe) authorizing use of open space preservation funding for maintenance. <> Click Here for full Senate Bill Calendar.
February 15-- House Appropriations Committee state budget hearings begin. 10:00-Dept. Of Revenue. House Floor. Click Here to watch live.
February 23-- House Game and Fisheries Committee informational meeting on Game Commission Annual Report. Room 60 East Wing. 10:00 a.m. Click Here to watch live.
February 24-- House Game and Fisheries Committee informational meeting on Fish and Boat Commission Annual Report. Room 60 East Wing. 1:00 p.m. Click Here to watch live.
February 28-- House Appropriations Committee budget hearing: 10:00- Department of Environmental Protection. House Floor. Click Here to watch live.
March 2-- House Appropriations Committee budget hearing: 10:00- Department of Agriculture. House Floor. Click Here to watch live.
-- Click Here for full House Budget Hearing Schedule
<> Click Here for full House Committee Schedule.
February 22 - Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearings begin. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10:00 a.m. Click Here to watch live.
March 2 - Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearings: 10:00 - Department of Conservation & Natural Resources; 2:30 - Department of Environmental Protection. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10:00 a.m. Click Here to watch live.
March 3 - Senate Appropriations Committee state budget hearings: 10:00 - Department of Agriculture. Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10:00 a.m. Click Here to watch live.
-- Click Here for full Senate Budget Hearing Schedule.
<> Click Here for full Senate Committee Schedule.
Off-Highway Motorcycle Registration: Senate Bill 1045 (Regan-R-Cumberland) providing for off-highway motorcycle registration-- dirt bikes and dual sport motorcycles to promote their use in State Forests, public trails, park lands and other areas. A companion to the controversial House Bill 478 (Armanini-R-Clearfield). Read more here.
MS4 Stormwater Testing: House Bill 2331 (Gleim-R-Cumberland) allows for water testing or water quality modeling calculations to allow municipalities to comply with MS4 Stormwater Program requirements.
Bills Pending In Key Committees
Check the PA Environmental Council Bill Tracker for the status and updates on pending state legislation and regulations that affect environmental and conservation efforts in Pennsylvania.
Here is the latest voting session schedule for the Senate and House--
March 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
April 11, 12, 13, 25, 26, 27
May 23, 24, 25
June 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30
September 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21
October 24, 25, 26
November 14, 15, 16
March 28, 29, 30
April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13
May 23, 24, 25
June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30
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