General Assembly Ends Legislative Session With Few Positive Environmental Bills
The General Assembly formally adjourned the 2013-14 legislative session November 12 and ended a legislative year with few positive environmental bills signed into law. All bills not reaching the Governor’s desk start over on January 6 when the new General Assembly convenes. The environmental bills signed into law in 2014 included--
What Can We Expect For The Environment Next Legislative Session?
With the increase in the Republican majorities in both the Senate and House, in particular more conservative members, we can expect to see the reintroduction and consideration of several environmental bills from last session, including the bills to eliminate certain protections for endangered species, create an unaffordable scheme to fund unsustainable nutrient reduction technology, legislation to rollback the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards and a bill to focus more attention on developing the state’s oil industry.
Of course the priorities and dynamics will be a little different with Democrat Tom Wolf in the Governor’s Office.
Gov.-Elect Wolf Names Budget Task Force Members, Inaugural Committee Chairs
Gov-elect Tom Wolf unveiled the members of his Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Tuesday. The group is assigned to deal with the state’s budget deficit and will be Chaired by Mary Soderberg. Josh Shapiro will serve as Vice-Chair. Click Here for a full membership list.
Wolf also announced Gov. Ed Rendell as Honorary Chair of his Inaugural Committee and Mary Isenhour, a senior advisor to his campaign, and Reid Walsh, Director of Operations for his campaign, as Co-Chairs. Click Here for more background.
Senate GOP Leaders Announce Changes In Leadership Staff, No Decision On Session
Changes to Senate Republican Leadership senior staff will take place with the beginning of the 2015-16 legislative session, according to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre), Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) and Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia). Click Here for the complete announcement.
There has been no decision yet by Senate and House Republicans on whether there will be a real voting session before Gov. Corbett leaves office January 20.
DEP Submits Comments On EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulation
On Wednesday the Department of Environmental Protection submitted its formal comments on EPA’s proposed Section 111(d) clean power greenhouse gas emission reduction regulations saying while it recognizes the authority for EPA to reduce carbon emissions, EPA’s proposed regulation does not do it it a lawful way and “inappropriately directs national energy policy.”
A copy of DEP’s comments is available online. Other background information is available on DEP’s Clean Power Plan Comments webpage.
4 PA Counties Would Violate New Ozone Standard Proposed By EPAThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday proposed to reduce the ozone pollution standard to within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion (ppb) to better protect Americans’ health and the environment, while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb.