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Blog

Our blogs are written by the staff of the Center for Coalfield Justice, with an occasional guest post. The most recent post appears on top, and others show up below in order of publishing date. You can receive the blogs in your inbox by signing up for our mailing list. Once per month we publish a newsletter, which contains most of the blog posts.

The Inflation Reduction Act Includes Some Wins, But Ensures Frontline Communities Will Continue to Face Environmental Injustices

“This is a crisis. We cannot afford any fossil fuel expansion,” said Veronica Coptis, Executive Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice. “Unfortunately, this law is the product of a backroom deal that could weaken environmental protection laws through permitting reform. Doubling down on natural gas drilling is a recipe for disaster, and the IRA sells out our allies in the Gulf South to more offshore drilling that exacerbates damage to the climate and the extreme weather events like flooding and hurricanes that impact us all.” 

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Breaking Down the Environmental Justice for All Act

On July 27, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved H.R.2021, the Environmental Justice (EJ) for All Act. The bill is currently sitting before the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote. This landmark piece of legislation would enshrine important protections for minority and low-income communities disproportionately affected by pollution and environmental degradation. It has…

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The Center for Coalfield Justice Condemns Senator Yaw’s Proposal to Penalize Protection of Public Land

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Lisa DePaoli, lisa@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org, 724-229-3550, ext. 5   WASHINGTON, PA — On July 19, 2022, after a years-long fight, the Allegheny County Council overrode a veto by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and banned fracking within and under county parks. Later that evening, Pennsylvania State Senator Gene Yaw issued a legislative memo in response…

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Governor Wolf Vetoed Senate Bill 275

On July 7, 2022, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a bill that has been touted as a way to give consumers more access to affordable electricity, but in reality represented an effort to restrict local governments’ ability to set policies that address the climate crisis. Senate Bill (“SB”) 275, introduced by Gene Yaw, would make…

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State Senator aims to increase permissions for poll watchers, penalties for refusal to comply

Last year in April, Senate Bill (“SB”) 573, also known as the Poll Watcher Empowerment Act, was introduced by Senator Doug Mastriano. The State Senate passed this bill after sitting on it for over a year. The House, however, didn’t waste any time on this bill. On June 29th, they voted to send this legislation…

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Bills Would Ensure Landfills are Placed in Rural Communities, Compounding Effects

On February 11, 2022, PA State Representative Timothy Bonner introduced House Bills (“HBs”) 2338 and 2339 to protect communities from the dangers of landfills. However, the bills’ language will make it so that rural communities bear the brunt of urban and suburban waste. The bills are straightforward. HB 2338 prohibits the new construction of a…

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Your Representatives Are Wrong. Your Voice Does Matter.

This blog is an update to one posted June 13: Local Elected Officials Object to Hearing Your Voice. Recently the PA Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) held a public comment period on their new draft Environmental Justice Policy (“Policy”). This Policy was created to provide those who reside in an environmental justice community the opportunity…

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picture of a coal-fired power plant in WV

Breakdown of the WV v. EPA Holding

By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court agreed with Republican-led states and coal companies that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to use generation-shifting as a “system of emission reduction” under the Clean Air Act. Background In the WV. v. EPA case, one primary regulation was at issue (which is currently…

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