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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 13, 2020 08:53 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibiting Natural Gas Bans in New Housing and Commercial Development
Pennsylvania is the second leading producer of natural gas in the United States.   That makes Pennsylvania one of the largest producers of natural gas in the world.   Without question, access to natural gas has become a major economic driver in the state.  Unfortunately, even with this background, only about one-half of Pennsylvanians have access to natural gas.

Energy policies, if any, throughout the United States vary greatly.  Some states leave major energy policy decisions to the lowest municipal level.  For example, last year, Berkeley, California, prohibited natural gas as a potential fuel in the planning and construction of low-rise residential buildings.  With over 2500 municipal entities in Pennsylvania, such a potential scenario would create a policy founded on an unworkable patchwork of restrictions and further deny residents access to this resource.  Given the importance of natural gas to Pennsylvania, it is simply prudent government policy for the state to preempt this field.

My bill will place decisions regarding restrictions on the use of natural gas in housing and commercial development projects solely within the purview of the state.   This will ensure that all Pennsylvania businesses and homeowners have the opportunity to access Pennsylvania natural gas.   Further, this legislation will be a step forward in developing a statewide energy policy addressing all forms.

I hope you will join me in preserving the Commonwealth's authority to set energy policy and ensure that all Pennsylvanians are able to benefit from our resources.