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

PRESS CONTACT info@conservationpa.org

Press Release: Clean Power PA Coalition on the Conclusion of EQB Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Public Comment Period

Upon the closing of the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board’s (EQB) open public comment period on a proposal for Pennsylvania to link to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Clean Power PA coalition made the following statement:

“The public comments received by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) demonstrate the strong support across the state for the proposal for Pennsylvania to link to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (CO2 Budget Trading Program Regulations – 50 Pa.B. 6212).  The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the EQB held a safe and accessible public comment process that allowed citizens to submit comments via email, online form, mail, or during one of ten virtual public hearings spanning over 30 hours of testimony in December. The hearings, in particular, provided convenient opportunities for Pennsylvanians to publicly make their voices heard on this important program to cut pollution and create jobs, and more than 95 percent of the nearly 500 speakers at those public hearings expressed their support for Pennsylvania to participate in RGGI. The many other vehicles for communication ensured all Pennsylvanians who desired to comment on the proposed rule would have a chance to do so.

Continue Reading

Can Biden’s climate plan spark cooperation in Pa.? Some see possible common ground in jobs, infrastructure

Climate change is one of the four major crises President-elect Joe Biden hopes to tackle after he’s sworn into office in January.

His goal is for the U.S. to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In Pennsylvania, a high-polluting state with a history of coal and natural gas production, it’s fair to expect pushback on Biden’s plan from the Republican-controlled legislature and industry groups.

Continue Reading

Opinion: Legislators should keep hands off conservation funds

As Pennsylvania legislators begin looking under the Commonwealth’s cushions for enough spare change to plug a state budget gap that could be higher than $4 billion, they should keep hands off of funds already dedicated to conservation and environmental programs.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.”

Continue Reading

Two PA House incumbents named to national list of worst environmental candidates

Dirty Dozen

Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers seeking re-election this November have been nominated as among the worst candidates on environmental issues in the country.

Continue Reading

New poll highlights importance of environment for PA voters

As the global pandemic has driven more families to seek safer outdoor recreation options, Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly support open spaces, parks and the outdoors, according to a new poll that highlights the importance of environmental issues as voters go to the polls in a key swing state.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading