PA House Members laud Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf as he moves his draft methane rule to the state’s Environmental Quality Board

HARRISBURG, Dec. 17 – Heeding the call of a majority of Pennsylvanians across the state who support immediate and multi-pronged action on climate, the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf today presented its draft methane rule to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Quality Board. Legislators statewide, including members of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus, led in the House of Representatives by Co-Chair state Rep. Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery, and Vice Chair state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester, have urged the governor to act forcefully on climate, as families and communities in the commonwealth experience the increasingly harmful impacts of global warming.

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas. Its emissions -- leaked from thousands of sources of natural gas development and infrastructure in the state -- are estimated to be five times higher than what is reported to DEP, or over 500,000 tons annually. Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the U.S.

“Members of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus came together in the Capitol this fall to call on Governor Wolf to move quickly to regulate methane emissions, and we are thrilled to say today that the governor heeded that call and those of Pennsylvanians across the commonwealth by taking action and launching a rulemaking process at the EQB,” McCarter said. “This is the kind of leadership we need on climate: Comprehensive action that will finally allow Pennsylvania to rein in its emissions of methane and carbon and meet the commitments outlined by Governor Wolf in his executive order on climate of January 8. Members of this caucus welcome the support of our colleagues in both chambers in a unified call to climate action that is swift and sure and in keeping with our responsibility to protect the constituents we serve.”

“As a major fossil-fuel producing state, it is time we take some responsibility for contributing to global climate change,” Comitta said. “Methane and carbon pollution have plagued Pennsylvania and our nation for far too long, and it is an issue we are capable of fixing. Regulating methane and other pollutants from our state’s natural gas industry will not only protect communities throughout the commonwealth, but it will help Pennsylvania emerge as a leader within the clean energy industry. This will ensure the longevity and prosperity of our commonwealth by improving our environment, economy and the future of Pennsylvania’s children, while inspiring other states to do the same.”