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Citizens Voice Editorial: State Insists On Paying Polluters
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This editorial first appeared in the Scranton Times and Citizens Voice on October 28, 2022--

Pennsylvania has failed to get a piece of the new domestic wave of high-tech, next-generation microchip production, as major producers have broken ground on nearly $100 billion worth of new plants in Arizona, Ohio and upstate New York.

Lawmakers instead have decided to double down on committing more state resources to the fossil-fuel industry.

Without so much as a public speech, hearing or floor debate, the General Assembly this week passed a $2 billion package of tax credits, 90% of which will go to the natural gas industry.

The objective is to establish one or more “hydrogen hubs” in Pennsylvania, under a U.S. Department of Energy program.

The DOE will provide $7 billion in grants to establish at least six and as many as 10 “regional clean hydrogen hubs” around the country. The new state tax credit giveaway is meant to sweeten the pot for potential developers.

Hydrogen can be used to supplant more carbon-heavy forms of energy for industrial production, transportation and more. It’s a legitimate part of a broad technological effort to reduce carbon emissions.

But there are multiple ways to produce hydrogen at the necessary scale, including from renewable sources. But Pennsylvania has decided to go all in on producing it exclusively from natural gas, enriching the industry at public expense while diminishing the potential environmental benefits of hydrogen production.

The process itself will produce substantial emissions from the combustion of natural gas, which advocates claim can be reduced by 76% using unproven carbon-capture and storage technology.

And it does not account for the environmental costs of increased natural gas production, including methane leakage that could reduce or eliminate the carbon-reducing benefits of hydrogen fuel.

This giveaway is just the latest. The state already has approved major subsidies for proposed plants to convert natural gas into antifreeze and gasoline, and another $1.7 billion to reward Shell for producing plastics that largely will be used for single-use bags and films.

In all, the subsidies amount to more than $4 billion over 20 years.

If these projects are worthwhile to the industry, it makes no sense for Pennsylvanians to have to subsidize them, since the gas that is the raw material is here.

NewsClips:

-- TribLive Editorial: State Fines Should Be Higher Than Tax Cuts To Penalize Environmental Leaks [PaEN]

-- Republican Herald Editorial: State Lawmakers Should Adopt Rules That Preclude State Taxpayers From Subsidizing Pollution From Oil & Gas Industry  [PaEN]

-- Citizens Voice Editorial: Subsidizing Pollution - Taxpayers Pay $1.7 Billion To Subsidize Shell Ethane Plant In Beaver County

-- Scranton Times/Republican Herald Editorial: Legislators Like Plastics, Expect More  [PaEN]

-- Republican Herald Editorial: Dangerous Course For Oil & Gas Well Emissions, Obstructionists Should Get Out Of The Way  [PaEN]

-- PennLive Guest Essay: Tax Credit Bill Gifts Natural Gas, Dirty Hydrogen With $4 Billion In Taxpayer Subsidies - By Patrick McDonnell, PennFuture

Related Articles:

-- DEP Issued NOVs To Conventional Oil & Gas Companies For Abandoning 55 Wells Without Plugging Them During September Alone, A Dramatic Increase In New Well Abandonments  [PaEN]

-- Creating New Brownfields: Oil & Gas Well Drillers Notified DEP They Are Cleaning Up Soil & Water Contaminated With Chemicals Harmful To Human Health, Aquatic Life At 272 Locations In PA [PaEN]

-- Gov. Wolf, Senate, House Republicans Again Fail To Hold Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Accountable For Protecting The Environment, Taxpayers On Hook For Billions [PaEN]

-- Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Reported Spreading 977,671 Gallons Of Untreated Drilling Wastewater On PA Roads In 2021  [PaEN]

-- Penn State Study: Potential Pollution Caused By Road Dumping Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Makes It Unsuitable For A Dust Suppressant, Washes Right Off The Road Into The Ditch  [PaEN]

-- DEP Lists 84 Townships As ‘Waste Facilities’ Where Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Has Been Disposed Of By Road Spreading; Municipalities Need To Do Their Due Diligence [PaEN]

-- On-Site Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Waste Disposal Plans Making Hundreds Of Drilling Sites Waste Dumps [PaEN]

-- Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Dispose Of Drill Cuttings By ‘Dusting’ - Blowing Them On The Ground, And In The Air Around Drill Sites  [PaEN]

-- Senate Hearing: Body Of Evidence Is 'Large, Growing,’ ‘Consistent’ And 'Compelling' That Shale Gas Development Is Having A Negative Impact On Public Health; PA Must Act [PaEN]

-- NO SPECIAL PROTECTION: The Exceptional Value Loyalsock Creek In Lycoming County Is Dammed And Damned - Video Dispatch From The Loyalsock - By Barb Jarmoska, Keep It Wild PA [PaEN]

-- Rare Eastern Hellbender Habitat In Loyalsock Creek, Lycoming County Harmed By Sediment Plumes From Pipeline Crossings, Shale Gas Drilling Water Withdrawal Construction Projects  [PaEN]

-- DEP: PA Fracking Operations Sent Nearly 236,000 Cubic Feet Of Radioactive TENORM Waste To Low-Level Radioactive Waste Facilities For Disposal In 2021 - 811,070 since 2016  [PaEN]

-- Study: Industry Data Shows Hazardous Air Pollutants Are ‘Ubiquitous’ In The Natural Gas Transmission System; More Justification For Robust Leak Prevention Programs  [PaEN]

-- Environmental Health Project: Setback Distances And The Regulations We Need To Protect Public Health From Oil & Gas Facilities [PaEN]

-- Conventional Oil & Natural Gas Drilling: An Industrial Machine Moving Across The PA Countryside Leaving Behind Big Liabilities & Spreading Pollution Everywhere It Goes [PaEN]

-- House Committee Fails To Address $70 Million In Penalties On Natural Gas Pipelines Or Real Concerns Of People Living Near Gas Production & Distribution Facilities [PaEN]

-- DEP: Shell, Pipeline Contractor Assessed $670,000 Penalty For Falcon Ethane Pipeline Construction Violations In Allegheny, Beaver, Washington Counties [PaEN]

-- DEP Collects $147,250 Penalty From Rice Drilling B LLC For Erosion & Sedimentation Violations In Greene County; DEP Found Rice Had Hundreds Of Other Violations, Including Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them  [PaEN]

-- Republican Chair Of House Environmental Committee Believes Opponents Of Natural Gas Infrastructure Projects ‘Just Need To Be Ignored And Politically Ran Over’ [PaEN]

Related Articles - Major Oil & Gas Criminal/Monetary Penalties Last 2 Years:

-- House Committee Fails To Address $70 Million In Penalties On Natural Gas Pipelines Or Real Concerns Of People Living Near Gas Production & Distribution Facilities

-- AG Shapiro: Energy Transfer/Sunoco Convicted Of Criminal Charges Related To Construction Of Mariner East 2 & Revolution Natural Gas/Liquids Pipelines In PA

-- Sunoco/Mariner East Pipeline To Pay $4 Million In Damages And Restore Lake At Marsh Creek State Park Polluted By A Spill In Chester County

-- Federal Court Approves DEP, EPA, DOJ Settlement With Chesapeake Appalachia For Failure To Identify, Protect Wetlands At 76 Gas Well Drilling Sites, $1.9 Million Penalty 

-- PUC Imposes $1 Million Penalty On Energy Transfer Company For 2018 Revolution Pipeline Explosion In Beaver County

-- DEP Collects $497,000, Fish & Boat Commission Collects $25,855 In Penalties For Latest Violations Involving Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction In Lebanon County

-- DEP: Range Resources Pays $294,000 Penalty For Delaying The Plugging Of 42 Conventional Oil & Gas Wells In 8 Counties

-- DEP: Olympus Energy Natural Gas Driller Fined $175,000 For Water Quality Violations In Allegheny County

-- DEP Collects $147,250 Penalty From Rice Drilling B LLC For Erosion & Sedimentation Violations In Greene County; DEP Found Rice Had Hundreds Of Other Violations, Including Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them

-- DEP Collects $140,000 Penalty From ETC Northeast Field Services For Pipeline Construction Violations In Beaver County

-- DEP Order Requires Payment Of $125,000 Penalty For Latest Revolution Natural Gas Pipeline Construction Violations In Beaver County

-- DEP Collects $85,000 Penalty For Mariner East 2 Pipeline Construction Violations In Blair, Cumberland, Juniata, Lebanon Counties

-- AP: PUC Judge: Sunoco/Energy Transfer Failed To Protect Delaware County Community During Construction Of Mariner East Pipeline, $51,000 Penalty Proposed

-- AG Shapiro: Southeast Directional Drilling Pleads Guilty To Contaminating Water Supply In Washington County, To Pay $15,000 Fine

Related Articles This Week:

-- DEP: PA General Energy Cited For More Water Pollution Violations, Blocking The Whole Width Of Loyalsock Creek At Gas Pipeline/Water Withdrawal Construction Site In Lycoming County [PaEN]

-- DEP Permit Notices -- Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities  [PaEN]

-- Senate, House Pass Massive, 20-Year Taxpayer Subsidies For Natural Gas, Hydrogen And Petrochemical Industries In Hours With No Public Accountability Or Environmental Safeguards [PaEN]

-- Citizens Voice Editorial: State Insists On Paying Polluters  [PaEN]

-- Scranton Times/Republican Herald Editorial: Legislators Like Plastics, Expect More  [PaEN]

-- Bill Goes To Governor Creating Well Plugging Grant Program; Senate, House Again Fail To Address Woefully Inadequate Conventional Well Plugging Bonding  [PaEN]

-- Senate Committee OK’d Bills Rebranding Fossil Fuels As ‘Low Emission,’ Eliminating Incentives For EVs; Fails To End Ban On Raising Conventional Oil & Gas Well Bonding; Reports Out EHB Nominee Sarah Clark  [PaEN]

-- Pine Creek Headwaters Protection Group: Potential Impacts Of Shale Gas Development Forest Fragmentation On Tioga State Forest Birds - By Dr. Robert M. Ross  [PaEN]

-- DCNR Leased 176 Acres Of Susquehanna River Submerged Land To SWN Natural Gas Production Company In Susquehanna County For $704,000  [PaEN]

-- Public Herald: Public Records Show PA Has 10,543 Injection Wells Where Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Wastewater Is Often Used For Enhanced Recovery Of Oil & Gas

-- Penn State Research: PFAS 'Forever Chemicals' Persist Through Wastewater Treatment, May Enter Crops - By Penn State News  [PaEN]

-- A Study Finding Microplastics In 100% Of Exceptional Value, High Quality, Class A Trout Streams Sampled In PA Is Disturbing To Wildlife Advocates  [PaEN]

-- TribLive: Homeowners Brace For Winter As Prices To Heat Homes Skyrocket, Biggest Spike Is For Natural Gas - More Than 34% Increase

-- National Fuel Gas Requests PUC To Approve 9.2% Increase In Base Delivery Charge; Separate Cost Of Gas Up 127.8% Since May 2021 [PaEN]

-- PUC Approves 9% Increase In The Basic Monthly Bill For Typical PECO Natural Gas Division Customers; On Top Of An 103.2% Increase In Cost Of Natural Gas [PaEN]

-- Ohio River Valley Institute Blog: Natural Gas Costs Are Principal Driver Of Current Inflation; Increasing Gas Production For Export Also Increases Prices And Volatility

[Posted: October 28, 2022]


10/31/2022

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