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

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Pa. lawmakers are masters of the Puniverse

Harrisburg

Just in terms of raw politics, our legislature deserves special notice.

In the small-ball world of Harrisburg, it consistently manages to protect itself and its donors, hence its members’ 90 percent-plus reelection rates.

And, with a little more than a week to go before the annual July 1 deadline for a new state budget, it appears poised to reprise its insulated ways.

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Trump opens 100-day rally assailing media gathered for correspondents’ dinner

President Trump marked his 100th day in office with an event touting what he called his administration's “historic progress,” even as his prime focus early in the campaign rally focused on his long-running antagonism with the news media.

About two hours before Trump was scheduled to start speaking, more than 100 Democratic and liberal activists gathered in a field across the street to express their opposition — in tones that quickly veered from jubilant to vehement and back again.

Josh McNeil, executive director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, joined the growing crowd early, saying he'd decided to come to “make a statement that President Trump did not earn a mandate to destroy the environment. No one voted for him to dismantle the EPA, but that has been a priority of his first 100 days.”

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LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS RELEASES 2016 NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SCORECARD

LCV Scorecard 2016

Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania and the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) today unveiled the scores of the Pennsylvania delegation in LCV’s new 2016 National Environmental Scorecard. The Scorecard includes 17 Senate votes and 38 House votes. 38 votes sets a new record as the most votes ever scored in the House, reflecting the fact that, under Speaker Paul Ryan, the current U.S. House remains the most anti-environmental in history. This is in direct contrast to President Obama who led the way on combating climate change and protecting our environment. The Scorecard is available in both English and Spanish at scorecard.lcv.org.

The 2016 Scorecard scores votes cast during the second session of the 114th Congress. The average House Republican score for 2016 was five percent, while the average House Democrat score was 94 percent.

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State Rep. Vitali slams influence of Marcellus Shale lobbyists

State Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166 of Haverford, held a news conference Friday to highlight what he believes is the effect of lobbying money from the Marcellus Shale industry on legislators, claiming that it prevents “good public policy” from being enacted.

The natural gas industry spent $7.3 million in lobbying expenses in 2016 in Pennsylvania and $62.6 million since 2007, he said, citing research that was partially done by Common Cause and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.

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Trump’s first days fuel optimism among drillers, angst for environmentalists

Pipeline Activists

In less than two weeks in office, President Donald Trump is working to usher in a new era for American energy companies. He’s begun rolling back efforts to combat climate change and is pushing for federal approval of controversial, new infrastructure projects — such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

There is guarded optimism among fossil fuel companies as they wait and see, along with everyone else, how Trump will deliver on his promises to boost American energy production. But his win has also been a major blow to many environmental groups, climate scientists, and others who worry about the administration’s disregard for science and policies aimed at protecting public health and the natural world. They’re now steeling themselves for a long, hard fight.

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CONSERVATION VOTERS OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNFUTURE ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP

CVPA and PennFuture

HARRISBURG, PA - January 10, 2017 – Two of the state’s leading environmental organizations, PennFuture and Conservation Voters of PA, announced the formation of a strategic alliance enhancing the groups’ power to respond to today’s unprecedented anti-environmental political climate at the federal and state levels.

By combining the policy, advocacy and legal resources of PennFuture with the political strength and skill of Conservation Voters of PA, the partnership expands the ability of both organizations to promote policies that advance clean energy and protect natural resources. Together, the groups will bring expanded capacity to hold legislators accountable, mobilize voters, and shine a spotlight on candidates’ records on clean air, water and energy issues.

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Pa. environmental groups join forces to increase advocacy

Lake

Two of Pennsylvania’s leading environmental groups are forming a new strategic alliance in response to what they call an “unprecedented anti-environmental political climate at the federal and state levels.”

PennFuture and the Conservation Voters of PA will combine policy, advocacy, and legal resources to mobilize voters around environmental issues and hold lawmakers accountable.

Conservation Voters of PA has staff of five, and will remain a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization with an affiliated PAC. PennFuture has a staff of 20 and is a 501(c)(3) organization, which bars it from participating in elections. But PennFuture President and CEO Larry Schweiger says the alliance builds on a model other organizations have used in other states.

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PIPELINE POLITICS AT PLAY IN STATE FAVORING DEMS

Fracking

Pennsylvania is not only poised to be a clincher in a tight presidential election — the state is also at the center of a pitched national debate about energy and climate change.

Up and down the Keystone State ballot, candidates are running campaigns either pushing renewable energy or vowing to cut regulations to boost a struggling oil and gas industry.

Central to the debate: the role of domestic fuel from the state’s massive Marcellus Shale play.

“In the same way Pennsylvania is a swing state in the local election, it’s been crucial to the way the whole country deals with the environment and energy,” said Josh McNeil, executive director of the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “The oil industry started in Pennsylvania, the coal industry ran the state for decades, and now it’s at the center of the argument around natural gas.”

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8,467 PENNSYLVANIANS TELL THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TO REJECT PERMITS TO THE PENNEAST PIPELINE

Pipeline

PHILADELPHIA, PA - On the heels of a new report issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressing “significant concerns” about the proposed PennEast pipeline’s environmental impact, today a coalition of eight national and state organizations submitted comments signed by 8,467 individuals to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) opposing the project.

Eighty-five percent of the PennEast pipeline is slated to cut through the Delaware River watershed, and could affect the drinking water of approximately 8 million people in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Under the Clean Water Act the DEP has the authority to analyze all proposed energy infrastructure to ensure Pennsylvania’s waterways are protected, and has twice asked for public comment on its water quality certification permitting process. National organizations CREDO, Daily Kos, and the League of Conservation Voters joined with state allies Clean Air Council, Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, PennFuture, and Sierra Club of Pennsylvania to mobilize their members during this latest public comment period.

 

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Legislative scorecard finds waning support for environmental bills in 2015-16

Natural Gas Wells

Pennsylvania’s state lawmakers voted less often for pro-environment legislation and more often for bills that would weaken environmental protection in the 2015-16 legislative session than they did the previous year, according to a tally published by four environmental groups on Wednesday.

An annual legislative scorecard from PennEnvironment, the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania found that the environmental voting record of the House as a whole dropped to 35 percent from 48 percent in the 2013-14 session, while the Senate’s environmental record declined to 38 percent from 41 percent.

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