Ever wonder what is being done in Harrisburg to improve air and water quality in Pennsylvania? About 30 friends and supporters attended our Education event at the home of Supporter Teresa Rodgers on November 16 as State Representative Carolyn Comitta (West Chester) and Joanne Kilgour (Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club) helped lay out the answer to that question.
Representative Comitta, a Represent PA endorsed legislator, shared insight that many of us did not know: most environmental issues in Pennsylvania are handled by the committee on Energy and the Environment. Pennsylvania is the only state that extracts gas and oil, but does not charge a severance tax on these resources.
Given this predicament, a bulk of the policy that the Energy and Environment committee hears is directly related to drilling, leaving little room for debate on several other environmental issues, like clean air and water. This keeps Joanne busy on the hill, as she is one of the only full time environmental lobbyists in Harrisburg.
In order for us to combat the money being spent by the oil and gas industry, we need to send more progressive women to Harrisburg: Both our political and actual environment are counting on us.