Sunday, September 19, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Could PA Gas Preemption Bill Derail Local Climate Action Plans?


Friday, June 11, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A gas preemption bill in the state Senate would prevent Pennsylvania municipalities from adopting policies to restrict or prohibit methane gas use in new homes and buildings, in favor of using electricity.

Critics of the measure say it could especially hurt areas like Bethlehem, which has its own climate plan and has reduced municipal greenhouse-gas emissions by 37% from 2005 to 2017.

Robert Routh, public policy and regulatory counsel for the Clean Air Council, said the bill would hinder local communities' clean energy goals.

"The bill as currently written is over-broad," Routh argued. "And it has the potential to chill any municipal efforts to, say, adopt new energy-efficiency measures, or even to offer financial incentives to developers to pursue all-electric construction for new buildings."

Senate Bill 275 is still in committee, but Routh believes with the state's deep ties to the gas industry, it's likely the bill will pass, or be included in the budget as an amendment.

Appliances that use fossil-fuel energy sources account for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Logan Welde, staff attorney and director of legislative affairs for the Council, thinks the policy could halt progress in curbing emissions.

"If we can't reduce the amount of gas that we're pulling out of the ground, transporting and burning, we are not going to be able to be on track to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions that we really have to do."

A 2021 Department of Environmental Protection climate change impact assessment estimates the state is on course for a six-degree temperature increase by mid-century.

Rachel Golden, deputy director of the Clean Buildings Campaign for the Sierra Club, noted the Senate bill is part of a trend her organization is seeing in the U.S.

"The gas industry has seen this momentum, and they feel it is an existential threat to their business model," Golden asserted. "It's important to understand that the gas industry's main revenue source from delivering gas to end users is to homes and buildings."

She pointed out homes and buildings account for 94% of gas industry revenue in Pennsylvania, higher than the national average of 87%.

get more stories like this via email
A panel of House Democrats proposes raising $2.9 trillion in new taxes to pay for President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan through higher tax rates for wealthy Americans. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …


EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …

Social Issues

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …

Republican lawmakers across the country have proposed legislation to limit or forbid the teaching of such concepts as racial equity and white privilege. (Kelly Lacy/Pexels)

Social Issues

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …

Better flood resiliency is top of mind in New York, after scenes like the Long Island Expressway's partial shutdown in Tropical Storm Ida. But who will pay for it? (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …

Social Issues

By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …


MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021