Protect clean air, clean water, and public health and conserve working farms, forests, and natural lands
"In Pennsylvania, we are also blessed with an abundance of natural resources: gas, timber, coal, sun, wind, fresh water, open spaces, agricultural land, beautiful scenery, and an opportune location that made us the Keystone State... To fulfill our potential, we must take full and responsible advantage of these resources."-Governor Tom Wolf
Why is this goal important?
The constitution of Pennsylvania declares that the commonwealth's natural resources "are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come." State government is entrusted with the responsibility to conserve these resources and to protect Pennsylvania's air, land, and water from pollution. State government must also ensure that the commonwealth's energy resources are developed safely and sustainably. As the country's second-largest producer of natural gas, Pennsylvania is uniquely positioned to be a national leader in balancing environmental protection and responsible energy development.
What are we working on to reach this goal?
Governor Wolf has worked to protect Pennsylvania’s air, water, and land through smarter energy policy and conservation. In 2019, Governor Wolf signed executive orders establishing the first statewide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania, and instructing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). He is committed to protecting Pennsylvanians from the long-term effect of unfettered methane releases and supporting a Methane Reduction Strategy. Governor Wolf announced that 34 cleaner energy transportation projects will receive $8 million in Driving PA Forward grants and rebates, funded by Pennsylvania’s share of the settlement with Volkswagen Group of America for cheating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions tests. In keeping with the goal of expanding the use of renewable energy, the Wolf Administration has revived the Solar Energy Program that promotes solar energy projects and clean-energy job creation in the commonwealth. Taking another step to advance both environmental protection and job creation, Governor Wolf signed legislation enabling low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to commercial or industrial properties. Meanwhile, the governor has continued to fight for a commonsense severance tax on natural gas extraction, recognizing that it's time that Pennsylvania join all other major gas-producing states in getting a fair share of natural gas profits for its residents. Governor Wolf’s proposed 2020-21 budget seeks to protect and restore our shared environment through an increase in funding for core initiatives within DEP, and provides additional funding for state park and forest rangers.
How are we doing?
Permit Decision Timeliness
New Well Inspections
DEP inspects oil and gas well sites to ensure they are constructed and operated in accordance with approved permits. DEP’s goal is to inspect new wells at the beginning, middle, and end of construction and development.