PA-Gov: Wolf Announces Pipeline Task Force Appointees

Governor-WolfGov. Tom Wolf has released the list of the individuals who will sit on the newly-created Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force.

The committee will be chaired by DEP Secretary John Quigley and will have 101 members in total. These experts and stakeholders will serve on 12 work groups focusing on pipeline safety and integrity, conservation, agriculture and emergency preparedness, among many other issues.

“Governor Wolf has charged the task force with crafting an innovative, collaborative and responsible approach to pipeline development that balances environmental protection with economic opportunity,” Quigley said in a statement. “Through smart planning, Pennsylvania can experience economic prosperity, achieve energy security, and protect the environment and communities.”

The Secretaries of the Departments of Health, Transportation, and Community and Economic Development, as well as representatives from the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Dept. of Agriculture, the PA Emergency Management Agency and several others will create a report of recommendations for Gov. Wolf by February 2016.

“Pipeline expansion is important to our economy and growing energy sector,” Wolf said in the statement. “We will work together to make sure that this important infrastructure can be developed effectively and responsibly with consideration for the environment, residents and local communities.”

The PA Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force’s first meeting will be held at 1 p.m. on July 22 at the DEP’s Southcentral Regional Office in Harrisburg.

8 Responses

  1. Gas cannot be done right. Just last year, I’ve had a leading fracking industry researcher for one of the major companies confide in me and tell me that the transition from coal to gas is an awful idea for the climate, confirming that it’s worse than coal if leakage rates are above 3.2% (as a study showed) — and admitted that the gas industry will NEVER get leakage rates that low. See some of the info we have on methane leakage here: http://www.energyjustice.net/naturalgas

  2. Tom: if you think wind and solar is still expensive or needs subsidies, based on the economics from the McGinty/Rendell era, you’re operating on old info and probably missed the past year’s worth of news showing that wind and solar prices are falling through the floor, undercutting fossil fuels. It’s now cheaper to do new wind than new natural gas power plants, and solar is about there as well, and will be clearly cheaper within 5 years, undercutting everything. See the articles and agency sources I cite in the latter half of my solutions presentation here: http://www.energyjustice.net/files/solutions/solutions.pdf

  3. Specifically, what is “new” about the “current type” of hydraulic fracturing?

  4. Danielle-

    The current type of hydraulic fracking is new, and become widespread faster than EPA has been able to monitor it. They’ve done inadequate testing, and have been led astray by industry cover ups. The industry settles with homeowners, under the condition of gag orders to perpetuate the cover-up, and also puts gag orders on doctors.

    More recent tests have already shown that fracking contamination can spread miles horizontally between layers of earth, much further than industry claims.

    Also, the Wolf administration uninvited an environmentalist they had previously invited to these pipeline discussions. What are they afraid of hearing?

    stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2015/07/08/fractivist-gets-uninvited-from-wolfs-new-pipeline-panel/?fb_action_ids=907090890716&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B952101801508509%5D&action_type_map=%5B”og.recommends”%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

  5. David- what science degree do you have to make these assertions? This is nothing more than empty, enviro-rhetoric with absolutely zero backing in reality. Fracking has been happening across the country since the 1940s, and EPA just published a report saying they can’t find any systemic problems with fracking. Try reading that before trying to take this domestic and plentiful energy source off the table.

    Furthermore, if you want to move the country away from fossil fuels, try doing it yourself first- you won’t find it to be an easy task. Almost everything you use- including your keyboard to type the nonsense you’re peddling- starts with natural gas production. Plastic comes from ethylene which comes from ethane which is produced alongside methane. And how are you heating and cooling your home, and how are you getting to work?

    Before you dazzle us all with your environmental righteousness, consider how your own lifestyle is dependent on fossil fuels, and focus on your own house before you try to meddle with mine.

  6. Tom-

    The hydraulic fracking is not good for the environment in any way, shape or form. The pollution and long term health/environmental costs are rarely factored into statements like “cheaper”. The leaks of methane are under reported by industry and some studies have detected massive methane leaks as hot-spots where fracking is prevalent. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

    You also assume they will “do it correctly”, when they haven’t been doing it well for years, and seem to be getting worse at it, while pumping more gas than ever. It’s a disaster waiting to happen as there is little to no oversight (or enforcement/correction of existing problems).

    This is a massive investment into fossil fuels, which are going to get shipped overseas, instead of bringing down prices here. So, we get all the disruption and risk, without the benefits.

    The oil/gas industry is getting subsidies many times beyond renewables by not having to pay severance taxes, cheating lease holders, violating environmental regulations without penalty, shoddy casings, and avoiding reporting on the chemicals that would surely get them shutdown.

  7. David – Renewable energy is great in theory but we proved under McGinty/Rendell that it can not survive without direct cash subsidies, which the state can’t afford and nor should we borrow on the backs of the future as we did with Rendell (and then the wind company closed down and moved out of PA. Great investment that we will be paying back on the 20 year bond issue). There is little to any private market for wind and solar, unfortunately. Natural gas is clean, cheaper than oil, better for the environment has an established infrastructure for its use (wind and solar have very little). Building the pipeline is a no brainer. Just do it correctly. It can be done.

  8. I suspect that none of the 101 members will question if there should be pipelines in the first place, instead of putting the time/money/effort into renewable energy for the long term.

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