Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Wednesday PA Environment & Energy NewsClips - 2.8.23

Are You Telling Your Story?

Senate returns to voting session Feb. 27, 28, March 1, 6, 7, 8

     -- Committee Schedule

-- March 7-- Governor’s Budget Address

House returns to voting session Feb. 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, March 1

     -- Committee Schedule

TODAY’s Calendar Of Events 

-- Natural Gas Industry Tells House They Want Faster Permit Reviews, But Didn’t Say They Don’t Use 40% Of The Well Permits They Get From DEP; Industry Practices Keep Energy Prices High   [PaEN]

-- Reuters: U.S. Natural Gas Output Hit Record High In 2023, Demand To Fall, First Time Demand Would Fall For 2 Years In A Row - US. EIA

-- Reuters: With Years Of High Natural Gas Prices Ahead, LNG Buyers Covet Long-Term Deals

-- Warren Times Editorial: Making Push For Quicker Permits [Natural Gas Pipelines Used As Example]

-- DCED Conventional Oil & Gas Drilling Advisory Council Feb. 16 Meeting Agenda Includes Discussion Of Poor Compliance Record Of Industry, Status Of Regulations Updates, Challenge To VOC/Methane Regs  [PaEN]

--House Democratic Policy Committee Spotlights Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory For Green Construction, Energy Efficiency Innovation  [PaEN]

-- The Center Square: PA Lawmaker Wants To Expand Access To Solar Energy Options

-- York Daily Record: New Solar Energy Facility Proposed For Agriculture Land In Dover Twp.

-- RegenAll, Partners To Host Collaborative Climate Summit April 22 In Lancaster  [PaEN]

-- Penn State To Begin Implementing Carbon Task Force Recommendations To Achieve 100% Greenhouse Gas Reductions By 2035  [PaEN]

-- National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Seeking Proposals For Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grants  [PaEN]

-- Williamsport Sun: Sen. Yaw Working On Bill For Stream Maintenance

-- WHYY: PA’s Acting Attorney General Leads Coalition Urging Stronger PFAS ‘Forever Chemical’ Regulations

-- Warren Times: PA American Water Asking Customers To Help Identify Lead Service Water Lines For Replacement

-- Bob Donnan’s Blog: Ohio/PA Train Wreck Air Pollution Headed Toward Pittsburgh Again

-- Beaver Times: Not Time To Return: Crews Monitoring Ohio/PA Train Derailment Say Evacuation Order Still Active

-- AP: Residents Worry About Going Home, Toxic Gas From Ohio/PA Train Derailment 

-- WTAE: Residents Worry About Going Home, Toxic Gas From Ohio/PA Train Derailment [Video Of Detonations]

-- AP: Toxic Gases Connected To Ohio/PA Train Derailment Cause Concern

-- Republican Herald Editorial: Train Wreck Cautionary Regulation Tale

-- TribLive: Excess Additive In Natural Gas Lines Causes 911 Calls In Westmoreland County

-- MCall: Developer Has Plans For Textile Factory Brownfield In Allentown

-- MCall: Lehigh Valley Township Has Plan To Severely Restrict Warehouse Development To Prevent Pollution, Decline In Open Land

-- PA Interfaith Power & Light Feb. 19 Webinar - How Can Pittsburgh Move From Environmental Racism To Environmental Justice?  7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

-- Penn State Mining Engineering Faculty Host May 8-10 Mining PA On Challenges And Opportunities In Mining In PA, Including Critical Minerals

-- PennLive: The Rocky Road To Recycled: Where Do Bottles, Cans, Cardboard Really Go?

-- PennLive: Recycling Solution: York-based Graham Packaging Makes New Products From Old Ones

-- Penn State Research Sounding The Alarm On Microplastic Pollution

-- WeConservePA Issues Request For Proposals For 2023 PA Greenways & Trails Summit In Scranton

-- DCNR State Parks Environmental Education Update - Valentine's Day Edition  [PaEN]

-- Lehigh Valley-Based Wildlands Conservancy Now Accepting Registrations For Summer Camps!

-- York Daily Record - Brian Whipkey: How Fly Fishing In PA Will Help People Recovering From Substance Abuse 

-- Delaware County-based Natural Lands Highlights Upcoming Events: Great Backyard Bird Count, Winter Gardening, Outdoors Online - Ways To Care; Much More!

-- WTAJ: Game Commission Research Projects To Challenge Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer, Elk

6th Oil/Natural Gas Spike: True Energy Independence Means Renewables

[There Is No Limit To What Oil/Natural Gas Industry Can Make You Pay]

-- Reuters: U.S. Natural Gas Output Hit Record High In 2023, Demand To Fall, First Time Demand Would Fall For 2 Years In A Row - US. EIA

-- Reuters: With Years Of High Natural Gas Prices Ahead, LNG Buyers Covet Long-Term Deals

-- Reuters: EU Considers Push For Fossil Fuel Phasedown Ahead Of COP28 Climate Summit

Other States/National/International

-- U.S. EIA: Coal And Natural Gas Power Plants Will Account For 98% Of U.S. Generation Capacity Retirements In 2023

-- U.S. EIA: More Than Half Of New U.S. Electric-Generating Capacity In 2023 Will Be Solar, 17% is Battery Storage

-- Utility Dive: Solar Energy Will Provide 54% Of New U.S. Power Generating Capacity In 2023, With 29.1 GW Added, U.S. EIA Projects

-- Financial Times: Fall In Petrol Use In Gas-Guzzling U.S. Heralds Shift For Global Markets; Fuel Efficiency, Electric Vehicles, Hybrids Working

-- WESA/NPR: Why EPA Puts A Higher Value On Rich Lives Lost To Climate Change

PA Politics - Everything Is Connected

-- AP: Democrats Win Control Of PA House With Special Election Victories

-- PA Capital-Star: Democrats Secure House Majority With Victories In Allegheny County Special Elections

-- Spotlight PA - Stephen Caruso: Democrats Sweep Special Elections, Affirming First PA House Majority In 12 Years

-- Politics PA: Democrats Sweep Special Election, Move Into Majority In PA House For First Time Since 2010

-- WHYY: PA State Govt. Commission: PA Should Have Longer Voter Registration Period, Optional Mail-In Ballot Secrecy Envelopes

-- Scranton Times Editorial: House/Senate Republicans’ Dog, Pony Show On Impeaching Philly DA Already Costs Taxpayers $1 Million+

-- Inquirer: Montgomery County Man Pleads Guilty To Crimes Related To Assault On U.S. Capitol

-- AP: Commonwealth Court: Poorer PA School Districts Win Legal Challenge To PA Public School Funding Formula 

-- PA Capital-Star: Commonwealth Court Declares K-12 Public School Funding System Unconstitutional

-- MCall - Paul Muschick: Gov. Shapiro’s Plan To Make Govt. More Accountable Is A Model For Others

-- Post-Gazette Editorial: A Bureaucratic Reform Could Transform PA Government

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[Posted: February 8, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

DCNR State Parks Environmental Education Update - Valentine's Day Edition

DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks Valentine’s Day edition of its
Environmental Education newsletter is now available and includes articles on--

-- Teaching Ideas, Activities, & Lessons for Winter!

-- Winter In-Person & Virtual Educator Professional Development Workshops

-- Conferences for Educators

-- Explore the Outdoors!

-- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

-- PA State Park Updates

Click Here to read the entire EE newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.

Visit DCNR’s Conservation Education Opportunities webpage for more on programs and opportunities for people of all ages in all regions.

Visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation’s Events webpage and DCNR’s Calendar of Events for activities happening near you.

Visit DEP’s Teaching Green webpage to learn about more environmental education resources.

Visit the PA Environment Digest Calendar Of Events for more opportunities.

Visit Explore PA Trails and Get Outdoors PA for recreation areas near you.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

[Posted: February 8, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

Penn State To Begin Implementing Carbon Task Force Recommendations To Achieve 100% Greenhouse Gas Reductions By 2035

With a goal of achieving 100% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2035, Penn State – under the direction of President Neeli Bendapudi -- is moving forward with several of the recommendations presented by the University’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force in Spring 2022. 

Taking steps to convert the University’s fleet to electric vehicles and pursuing a second renewable electric generation purchase are among the initiatives that Penn State will begin to implement immediately.

In Spring 2021, former Penn State President Eric Barron charged a team of 23 Penn State faculty, staff and students to formulate a plan to address climate change, one of the most complex and urgent issues of our time, by lowering the University's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at all campuses. 

A year later, in Spring 2022, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force issued a report that presented recommendations for the University to achieve 100% emissions reduction by 2035.

“Since arriving, I have learned of the tremendous progress that Penn State has made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “I am grateful to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force for their work in identifying potential solutions for our great University, and I am pleased to support the initiation of several recommendations that will make a significant impact.”

According to Timothy White, task force co-chair and research professor in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and sustainability officer for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State has already reduced its GHG emissions by 42% since 2005 through strategies designed to use energy more efficiently, including investing in renewable energy; focusing on building energy conservation projects; and installing equipment for combined heat and power, which produces heat and energy from a single power source, among other initiatives.

“Despite being ahead of our long-term aspirational goal of 80% emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2050, more recent scientific consensus suggests that more is needed and faster,” he said.

As a result, the Task Force’s report comprises a comprehensive roadmap of goals, milestones and actions that could position the University to meet a more aggressive goal of 100% emissions reduction by 2035. 

Penn State is committed to immediately implementing the following recommendations that will substantially advance this goal--

-- Continue the Energy Savings Program: This existing strategy targets on-campus energy inefficiencies, including lighting, HVAC and other systems, with the goal of paying for improvements out of the savings within 10 years or less. This program has been responsible for the majority of the University’s GHG emission reductions to date, and Penn State is dedicated to continuing this important program.

-- Pursue another renewable electric generation purchase: Aiming to duplicate the success of the recent Nittany Solar Project in Franklin County, Penn State plans to pursue another offsite renewable electricity purchase to lower emissions from University-wide electric grid purchases. A market assessment is currently underway.

-- Downsize and electrify the University fleet: A study is currently in progress to explore the impact of downsizing Penn State’s vehicle fleet. Upon completion of the study, Penn State will explore conversion of the University’s fleet to electric vehicles. By both reducing the overall number of vehicles and electrifying the fleet, GHG emissions will be significantly reduced.  

-- Expand the Sustainable Labs program: Some Penn State laboratories are energy intensive in large part due to their ventilation requirements. Penn State is currently investigating ways to optimize ventilation rates to safely lower energy consumption and GHG emissions. The Sustainable Labs Program is a pilot that is training students to support the shift from energy and resource intensive practices to more sustainable practices and is designed to incorporate sustainability into the operations of all Penn State scientific research labs and user facilities.

-- Inventory emissions at affiliate locations: Penn State Health and the Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn College) are not currently included in the University’s overall emissions inventory and reduction strategies. The Hershey Medical Center campus has made great strides in the area of sustainability, and Penn State plans to include both locations in its future GHG reduction efforts.

-- Explore carbon offsets: Some University GHG emissions will be difficult or impossible to eliminate, such as those from University-sponsored air travel or commuting. Carbon offsets can bridge the gap to achieve emission reductions. Internally, the University may be able to produce its own offsets. Penn State will form a committee of experts to further explore this opportunity.

The University hopes to pursue many of the other recommendations made by the Task Force in the longer term.

“The Task Force was charged to think big and find bold solutions,” said Robert Cooper, task force co-chair. “While some of the recommendations in the report are financially challenging, they are nonetheless worthy of consideration if new funding sources can be secured.”

To create a funding pipeline that may enable additional actions to advance Penn State’s goal toward carbon neutrality, the University will begin a fundraising effort to attract corporate, foundation and individual philanthropic gifts. In addition, in anticipation of potential new federal funding opportunities through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the University will identify, mobilize and support subject matter experts across a range of applicable disciplines to organize and lead efforts to prepare and submit proposals to these once-in-a-generation opportunities. 

“The actions we are taking now position Penn State to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and foster the University’s commitment to sustainability,” said Bendapudi. “With a committed and focused effort, we can strive to become a carbon-neutral university and ultimately deliver positive benefits for humankind.” 

Click Here for more information on Penn State’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force recommendations.

(Photo: Penn State solar energy facility in Franklin County.)

(Reprinted from Penn State News.)

[Posted: February 8, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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