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Adam Garber,
PennEnvironment

New report card gives governor “F” for environmental record

For Immediate Release

[Philadelphia]- Gov. Corbett received an “F” on an environmental report card released today by the statewide environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment.

PennEnvironment’s report card includes some of the most hotly-debated environmental policies in Harrisburg—and Gov. Corbett’s position on those issues—since becoming governor in 2011. The full report card can be viewed at: http://www.PennEnvironment.org/GovReportCard.

“From the first bill he signed into law that gutted energy conservation for buildings across Pennsylvania, to rolling back protections to keep our parks safe from drilling and proposing to dismantle funding for farmland preservation, this report card makes it clear that our environment has taken a beating under Gov. Corbett,” said Adam Garber, PennEnvironment field director. “Fortunately, broad bipartisan support in the Legislature was able to defend against many of the governor’s shortsighted proposals.”

PennEnvironment expects to distribute its environmental report card to more than 250,000 households across the Commonwealth as part of the group’s campaigns to keep Pennsylvania safe from fracking, to protect local parks, and to promote energy conservation.

Some of the proposals and laws highlighted in the report card include:

  • Gutting Green Building Standards (Act 1 of 2011): First legislation signed into law by the governor (Act 1 of 2011) to roll back the implementation of energy conservation standards for buildings constructed in PA.
  • Carte Blanche for Frackers (Act 13 of 2012): Signed far-reaching law (Act 13) that guts environmental and public health protections from gas drilling and fracking, and so far, it has been found unconstitutional by the state courts.
  • Eliminating Funding for our Parks and Open Spaces (2012 Budget Proposal): A 2012 budget proposal to dissolve funding for the Keystone Fund, the state’s cornerstone program for protecting state parks and other recreational areas.
  • Promoting Drilling on College Campuses (SB 367): Legislation signed into law that allows fracking and gas drilling on our higher education campuses.
  • Permit Local Land Banks (HB 1682): Legislation signed into law that helps local communities turn vacant lots into parks, community gardens and green spaces. 

 “Some of the governor’s anti-environmental proposals were so outrageous that they’ve been met with swift and vocal bipartisan opposition, including cuts to funding for our parks and farmland preservation,” said Garber.

The report card was released as Gov. Corbett is facing decisions on a number of critical environmental issues during the last year of his term. Issues include the opening of Loyalsock State Forest to drilling, threats to our state’s clean energy law, and an underfunded park system.

“We urge Gov. Corbett to use the next eight months to push for environmental proposals to promote a clean energy future, to protect our threatened open spaces and family farms, and to begin tackling global warming,” said Garber.

The environmental report card can be found at: http://www.PennEnvironment.org/GovReportCard.