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

Poll: Northeast Pennsylvania districts represented by Reps. Wild, Cartwright, rate climate provisions of infrastructure plan highly

PHILADELPHIA – A new poll released Wednesday revealed support for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal across the political spectrum in Pennsylvania’s 7th and 8th Congressional Districts. The districts, represented by Reps. Susan Wild and Matt Cartwright, respectively, encompass parts of Wayne, Pike, Lackawanna, Lehigh, and Northampton counties. Rep. Wild’s district includes Allentown, Bethlehem, and suburban and rural areas. Rep. Cartwright’s district includes Hazelton, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and other nearby jurisdictions. This survey, providing district-specific data on how voters view the American Jobs Plan (AJP), is sponsored by PennEnvironment, Earthjustice and Environment America.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Pittsburgh City Council plans to ban plastic bags

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh City Council passed a resolution Tuesday stating their intent to pass a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags, were it not for a state law preempting local governments from doing so. The resolution, introduced last week by Councilmember Erika Strassburger, means Pennsylvania’s two largest cities could soon join forces to protect the Commonwealth from plastic pollution and the health and environmental degradation it causes. In March, Philadelphia, along with the boroughs of West Chester and Narberth, and Lower Merion Township, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the General Assembly’s preemption law. The passage of Councilmember Strassburger’s resolution opens the door for the City of Pittsburgh to file a legal motion in support of that suit.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

New Study: PA electric vehicle program expansion could lead to 18-million-ton yearly reduction in state’s climate pollution

PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania could reduce its climate pollution by 18 million metric tons annually -- the equivalent of taking nearly 4 million gas-powered vehicles off the road --  by expanding its clean cars program to include a Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) program, according to a new study released Thursday.  This report comes out just after the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposed the Keystone State embrace a ZEV program. 

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Cleaner Cars for PA

Transportation is one of Pennsylvania’s leading sources of the air pollution that harms our health and contributes to global warming. One-quarter of Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation and more than a third of the nitrogen oxide emissions that contribute to harmful ozone smog come from highway vehicles.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Pittsburgh City Council takes crucial first step to eliminate plastic bag pollution

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania’s two largest cities could soon join forces to protect the Commonwealth from plastic pollution and the health and environmental degradation it causes. Councilmember Erika Strassburger introduced a resolution Tuesday announcing the Pittsburgh City Council’s intent to pass a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags, were it not for a state law preempting local governments from doing so. In March, Philadelphia, along with the boroughs of West Chester and Narberth, and Lower Merion Township, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the General Assembly’s preemption law. The passage of Councilmember Strassburger’s resolution would open the door for the City of Pittsburgh to file a legal motion in support of that suit. 

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