Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania is making the environment a top priority across the Commonwealth.


Climate activists are turning out Pa. voters to flip the state House — and boost Biden

Edna Patterson can list the reasons she spends 15 to 20 hours a week calling Pennsylvania voters to talk about climate change:

She’s a former high school science teacher. Before that, she worked for a federal climate assessment program as a meteorologist. And she has kids and grandkids.

“Time’s running out,” said Patterson.

Patterson, 68, of West Chester, volunteers for Conservation Voters of PA as it works to reach more than two million voters before Tuesday. And she’s one of many advocates pushing the issue during an election year that has seen Americans roiled by natural disasters extreme enough to capture public attention, even amid the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic.

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US election swing states: will Donald Trump hold on to Pennsylvania?

“The shifting political climate in the state has put a number of races in play that weren’t in prior cycles,” said Josh McNeil, executive director of Conservation Voters of PA. “The increased polarisation, largely around the president, has reshaped the political landscape. If you voted against the environment a lot in, say, Bucks County, it’s a lot harder to get away with it now.”

The Conservation Voters of PA and other environmental groups are spending more than $2m on legislative races in the state, hoping that 2018’s results and anti-Trump backlash will allow for down-ballot Democratic victories. The state-level legislative maps in Pennsylvania heavily favour Republicans, even in the absence of gerrymandering. Although the Democrats are very competitive in state-level races, and win a majority of votes half the time, they routinely fail to win control of the General Assembly.

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Group looks to turn PA General Assembly blue to make progress on the environment

Polls show that a majority of Pennsylvanians want lawmakers to do something about climate change. An annual environmental scorecard tracks how state legislators vote on climate and other environmental issues. In many parts of the state, that voting record is pretty dismal. 

Conservation Voters of PA and its partners put out this scorecard each year. To get more traction on environmental issues, they’re putting money and resources into endorsing candidates to flip Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature. The Allegheny Front’s Kara Holsopple spoke with Josh McNeil, executive director of Conservation Voters of PA.

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Swing-state Pennsylvanians are divided on fracking. Here’s why.

Josh McNeil, the executive director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, which opposes fracking, said that it is time for the state to break free of extractive industries that have caused boom and bust cycles.

“Two months ago now, the legislature gave away a [$670] million handout to build petrochemical plants in the state, and they did that to create a market for natural gas. I’m not seeing anything like that for solar or wind.”

“We would like to see an even playing field that allows solar and wind, which in many cases are already cheaper than coal and gas, get the same kind of treatment.”

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Environmental groups to spend $2M to flip Pa. legislature

Several Pennsylvania environmental groups plan to pour millions into closely contested State House and Senate races with the goal of flipping the General Assembly in Democrats’ favor.

Josh McNeil, executive director of Conservation Voters of PA –– an independent affiliate of the national League of Conservation Voters –– said his group would sink $971,000 into independent expenditures designed to knock out incumbents in 22 legislative races, including 11 in the Philadelphia suburbs.

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Hold politicians accountable for environmental voting records

Between PFAS contamination, poor air quality, and the general looming dangers related to climate change, Bucks County does not have time to wait for environmental action. When our elected officials refuse to do the right thing for Bucks County’s air and water, it’s important we hold them accountable.

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SEPTA board shifts to Democratic majority for first time ever

The blue wave that crashed on the Philadelphia suburbs last November has rippled through SEPTA’s governing body, which now has a Democratic majority for the first time.

SEPTA’s newest board member, John Cordisco, a lawyer and chairman of the Bucks County Democratic Committee, gives the 15-member board an 8-7 tilt toward the Democrats. On Thursday, Cordisco replaced Charles Martin, a former Bucks County commissioner, who was appointed to the board in 2001.

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Pa. needs strong public transit for equitable pandemic recovery

The covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the economic and environmental inequities that plague Pittsburgh, and a strong public transit system will be necessary to get those impacted back to work and jump-start the economy when conditions are safe.

With the Trump administration’s response to covid-19 a complete disaster — characterized by ignoring science and leaving the states to their own devices — our state and local leadership have an even bigger role to play to get our economy moving again.

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Conservation group touts environmental scorecard

Bucks County faces many environmental challenges that put local residents’ health at risk. These dangers include having the second worst air quality in the state — in part caused by the asbestos from the Rockhill Quarry, as well as the contamination of drinking water with PFAS chemicals in Warrington, Warminster, Sellersville and Horsham in Montgomery County. With other challenges looming on the horizon, like a potential liquified natural gas compressor station in the Quakertown area and the PennEast pipeline project in Durham Township, it is vital that residents know where their state legislators stand on environmental issues.

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How flooding disproportionately hurts Lehigh Valley’s minority communities

Climate change will intensify flood risks across the Lehigh Valley. It will be our most disadvantaged residents — in many cases, predominantly people of color — whose homes and families will be caught in harm’s way.

Tropical Storm Isaias served as a wake-up call for my own family.

As the storm tore through the region, my brother Raymond quickly found himself caught in floodwaters along Allentown’s Basin Street. His 2007 Jeep Commander stranded and destroyed, he fortunately escaped safely.

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