Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Senate Committee Moves Bill To Prohibit Communities From Promoting Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency; House Set To Move Companion Oct. 26

On October 19, the
Senate Local Government Committee amended and reported out Senate Bill 275 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) which would limit the ability of communities to offer new and clean energy sources and energy efficiency programs by locking in the status quo, in particular natural gas.

The bill was reported out on a party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

The amendment  attempted to deal with some of the concerns expressed at a hearing on the legislation [Read more here], but does not alter its fundamental purpose.

House Meeting

The House Local Government Committee is scheduled to meet October 26 to consider House Bill 1947 (O’Neal-R-Washington), the companion bill to Senate Bill 275 (Yaw-R-Lycoming).

The meeting will be held in Room 515 Irvis Building starting at 9:30 a.m.  Click Here to watch the hearing online.


This legislation is part of a nation-wide initiative by the American Gas Association to get states across the country to adopt legislation to prohibit local governments from adopting ordinances that would block the use of natural gas in new homes and commercial construction.  Read more here.

While the bill’s sponsor said the intent of the legislation is simple-- preventing communities from prohibiting natural gas-- you need to read the black and white language of the bill to understand its true, far-reaching impact.

The meeting was a follow up to a hearing the Senate Local Government and Environmental Resources and Energy Committees had in May on the legislation where Pennsylvania local government groups raised serious concerns about the language of the bill.  Read more here.

Joseph H. Gerdes, III, PA State Association of Township Supervisors, said, “While we agree that municipalities do not have the current ability to regulate utility connections, we have concerns that the broad language in Senate Bill 275 could be open to interpretation and limit the ability of municipalities to regulate in the siting of power generation facilities, including commercial solar facilities.” 

Ron Grutza, PA State Association of Boroughs, said “The sweeping nature of the preemption language in Senate Bill 275 could be problematic. We believe that enacting the legislation in the present form could create unintended consequences.

Amy Sturges, PA Municipal League, said, “The League is strongly opposed to the Senate Bill 275. Our members view the legislation as a preemption of local authority. Additionally, the language of the bill is unclear and broadly written which will be harmful to communities as they try to sort out the extent of its impact.”

Click Here to read more about comments offered at the hearing.

Sen. Cris Dush (R-Clearfield) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7084 or send email to his chief of staff: Sen. Timothy Kearney (D-Chester) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-1350 or send email to:

Related Articles:

-- Sen. Yaw Introduces Bill To Preempt Local Governments From Requiring New Buildings Use Climate-Friendly Energy Sources

-- Local Governments, Others Oppose Senate Bill That Limits Local Choice In Clean Energy Sources, Locks In Status Quo, Negates Local Democracy, With Overly Broad Language To Address A Problem That Doesn’t Exist In PA

-- New Report: Electrifying Buildings Could Reap Major Health, Climate Pollution Reduction Benefits In PA

[Posted: October 20, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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