Coal, gas and nuclear — we can do better

The ways that we produce and use energy in Pennsylvania have a severe impact on our environment and health. PennEnvironment is working toward a new energy future that promotes clean, renewable energy and uses efficient technologies to help protect the planet.

Pennsylvania could be doing a lot better when it comes to the ways we use and produce our energy. Dirty, coal-fired power plants pollute our air with smog and soot, and our rivers and streams with mercury. Marcellus Shale gas drilling contaminates our streams and destroys our pristine forests. Nuclear power plants produce toxic waste, and pose the unlikely but catastrophic threat of a Fukushima-style disaster.

Powerful polluters push for the dirty energy status quo

Unfortunately, many electricity companies, coal companies and other polluters want to continue our reliance on dirty energy sources. These powerful interests are putting short-term profits ahead of our environment and health — and they have unfettered access and influence in the halls of the state capitol in Harrisburg and in Washington, D.C. Electric utilities spent more than $105 million on lobbying in 2011 alone.  Now they're pushing to cut Pennsylvania's critical Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard, which supports clean energy sollutions like wind and solar.  

Solar and wind offer path to a new energy future

At PennEnvironment, we have a different vision. We can get our energy from clean, renewable homegrown sources like wind and solar, while creating thousands of much-needed jobs in the state. We can achieve a new energy future where our homes and buildings create more clean energy than they need, where public transportation systems thrive and reduce our reliance on oil, and where technology allows our cars to get more than 100 miles to the gallon.

Pennsylvania has the technological know-how and renewable energy potential to clean up and modernize the way we produce energy. Clean, renewable energy sources are in abundance in Pennsylvania — especially wind and solar power — and they can help the Commonwealth decrease its reliance on dirtier, polluting forms of energy.


Clean Energy Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: PA cities’ lawsuit to undo General Assembly’s preemption crucial to addressing plastic pollution

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia joined with the municipalities of Lower Merion, Narberth (Montgomery County) and West Chester (Chester County) to file a lawsuit Wednesday against Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. The suit claims the legislature unconstitutionally enacted a preemption law that strips the ability of local communities and officials across the commonwealth to implement ordinances addressing waste and litter from single-use plastics.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Vote to protect Delaware River from fracking is historic

PHILADELPHIA – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a regional multi-state agency charged with preserving the Delaware River watershed, cast a historic vote today to ban fracking within the Delaware River Basin. This action comes after a multi-year public input process. Patrick McDonnell, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, voted on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf to approve this proposal.

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Blog Post

Responding to the crisis in Texas | Johanna Neumann

Our energy system is more fragile than it should be, but with smart planning and decisions we can make a cleaner, safer, more resilient energy system a reality.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: PennEnvironment files suit against EPA for Trump-era power plant pollution safeguards rollback

PITTSBURGH -- Earthjustice filed a lawsuit on behalf of PennEnvironment and partners at the Sierra Club and the Alliance for Affordable Energy Thursday challenging toxic pollution exemptions for how power plants dispose of coal ash waste. This lax regulation is a holdover rollback from the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency. The suit specifically challenges a November 2020 rule that permits utility companies to request an exemption that would allow their dangerous coal fly ash ponds to go without a protective plastic liner indefinitely.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

New report outlines how PA utility companies can creatively invest in electric school buses

Philadelphia, PA -- To protect our children’s health and environment, PennPIRG Education Fund and PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center have released a new report to identify new, cutting-edge ways that utility companies can assist school districts in paying for zero-emission buses, and how schools can reap the long-term benefits. 

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