Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Senate Committee OK’d Bills Rebranding Fossil Fuels As ‘Low Emission,’ Eliminating Incentives For EVs; Fails To End Ban On Raising Conventional Oil & Gas Well Bonding; Reports Out EHB Nominee Sarah Clark

On October 25, the
Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation to rebrand fossil fuels as “low emission” vehicle fuels and end state incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles and failed to end the ban on raising conventional oil and gas well plugging bonding for ten years.

The Committee also unanimously voted to report out the Governor’s nomination of Sarah Clark to the Environmental Hearing Board to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation.

The bills include--

-- Rebranding Fossil Fuels:  Senate Bill 1338 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) and Senate Bill 1339 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) which try to rebrand fossil fuels like natural gas, propane into “low emission transportation fuels” and eliminate rebates and incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles.  Read more here.

Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester), Minority Chair of the Committee, opposed the bills saying the departments of Agriculture and DEP said there are fundamental questions about how the new programs will operate and they would eliminate hybrid and electric vehicle incentives.

The bills were reported out by a vote of 8 to 3 with Republicans and Sen. Boscola (D-Lehigh) supporting.

-- Conventional Well Plugging Bill: House Bill 2528 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) would mandate DEP award conventional oil and gas well plugging contracts to Pennsylvania contractors was amended to fix significant problems with the language in the former House Bill 2644-- Act 96-- to meet the requirements of the new federal conventional oil and gas well plugging program.

The Committee again failed to address the biggest problem in Act 96, which is to ban DEP from increasing the conventional oil and gas plugging bonding amounts for 10 years.  Read more here.

The bill was held in Committee after it was amended and then reported out at a second meeting later in the day.

Info Meeting

Immediately after the Committee business meeting, an information meeting was held on Senate Bill 1125 (Pittman-R-Indiana) creating a Legionnaires’ Disease Drinking Water Risk Management Program.

Click Here for videos and more information on the meetings.

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-3280 or sending email to: gyaw@pasen.gov.   Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5709 or sending email to: senatorcomitta@pasenate.com.

[Posted: October 25, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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