Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Katie Meyer, WITF

  • Email: katie_meyer@witf.org

Lawmakers, state officials clash over regulatory oversight

In a House committee meeting, the subject of how Pennsylvania manages its regulations was front and center.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

In a House committee meeting, the subject of how Pennsylvania manages its regulations was front and center.

GOP lawmakers and the Wolf administration have renewed their sparring over state government regulation, butting heads on environmental rules.

The discussion in a House State Government committee meeting was ostensibly focused on Department of Environmental Protection regulations. However, it also delved into some more deep-seated disagreements over how the commonwealth is run.

Officials from the DEP testified before the panel, primarily about general permit revisions to methane regulations, which some lawmakers contend need to have more legislative oversight.

Secretary Patrick McDonnell maintained that the state is doing all it is required to under Independent Regulatory Review Commission guidelines. Continue Reading

Wagner keynotes for natural gas advocates in Harrisburg

Scott Wagner, a Republican state senator from York County and owner of trash hauling firm Penn Waste, is running for governor. (FILE)

AP Photo/Marc Levy

Scott Wagner, a Republican state senator from York County and owner of trash hauling firm Penn Waste, is running for governor. (FILE)

Over a dozen county commissioners from Pennsylvania’s northern tier are working to organize around an issue that directly impacts their constituents: natural gas drilling.

Organizers said Harrisburg often neglects the interests of its more far-flung counties. They described their keynote speaker as someone who’s gone against that trend– York County Republican senator and gubernatorial hopeful, Scott Wagner, has supported natural gas drilling since he was elected.

Wagner noted repeatedly that this wasn’t a campaign event, though that didn’t stop a few speakers from remarking that it would be nice to have a governor who would reduce regulations on the gas industry.

Amid his calls to get pipelines flowing, Wagner did take the opportunity to lay out some policy proposals–and try out some catchphrases.

“There’s a huge difference between an active environmentalist and an environmental activist,” he said, using a line he reiterated multiple times. “I love the outdoors, I grew up around the outdoors, I love fishing–I am in favor of drilling on state lands.”

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Sen. Scott Wagner officially kicks off his campaign for governor

State Senator Scott Wagner (R- York) officially launched his campaign for governor Wednesday.

Katie Meyer / WITF

State Senator Scott Wagner (R- York) officially launched his campaign for governor Wednesday.

Republican State Senator Scott Wagner is the first person to throw his hat into the 2018 race for governor. He made the official announcement Wednesday at the York County headquarters of his trash hauling company.

A conservative first-term senator and businessman, Wagner’s making it clear that he is running on a similar outsider platform as president-elect Donald Trump.

“I started my first business when I was 20 years old,” he said at one point. “When you start out with two trucks and two employees and you build that company to 350 employees—you know, I’ve learned you can, surround yourself with the best people.”

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Parents call on Wolf to regulate methane

Children sat on the steps of the Capitol rotunda as their parents talked about the effects of methane on their communities.

Katie Meyer/ WITF

Children sat on the steps of the Capitol rotunda as their parents talked about the effects of methane on their communities.

A group of parents from around Pennsylvania is urging Governor Tom Wolf to regulate methane emissions.

They held a conference in the State Capitol Thursday, flanked by their children, whom they say are affected most harshly by pollution caused by the state’s oil and gas industry.

The governor promised in January that oil and gas regulations would be introduced this year. His methane-reduction plan would require companies to use the best technology available to prevent leaks of the powerful greenhouse gas at their work sites.

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