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Wolf Postures and Wastes Time While DEP Permits Languish

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf thinks it’s more important to waste time demagoguing clean air issues than solving them by issuing stalled DEP pipeline permits.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has been a huge disappointment, an incompetent political showboat. He has routinely tried to appease the wacko element of his constituency at the expense of good government. When he appointed the humorless John Quigley of PennFuture as DEP Secretary, that was the first sign of the Governor’s plan to demagogue first and govern later.

Now, Wolf is wasting time posturing in social media and elsewhere challenging EPA dumping of the politicized top-down EPA ozone rules adopted under President Obama. Meanwhile, actions that would simultaneously help Pennsylvania’s economy and make it possible to clean more air—things like permits for pipelines such as the Atlantic Sunrise—languish on the Pennsylvania DEP desk. What are we now; New York?

The EPA, under Obama, attempted to force-feed air quality measures down everyone’s throat without regard to affordability, effectiveness or efficiency. Some of it was good for natural gas in the short-term, but poor public policy nonetheless, and was clearly going to be aimed at natural gas in the future. It was a substitution of edict for reason. Some of those arbitrary rules are being scrapped now in favor of letting free markets—which have done more for reducing air emissions than any government measure thanks to the private shale revolution and the substitution of gas for coal—simply work their magic.

Tom Wolf is opposed. He likes the heavy hand of government. That’s why he went on Twitter this week to pose with the Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (another demagogue hoping to be Governor someday) filing suit against the EPA. He’s doing so in league with the detestable Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman, another political climber. (As an aside, I’m beginning to think all attorneys general and prosecutors should be excluded from running for governor – they’re temperamentally unsuited and the temptation to use their prosecutorial authority to demagogue is too great.) Anyway, here’s the Twitter post:


Two aspects to this annoy me greatly. First, it is acknowledged air quality is already improving, so why do we need these over-the-top ozone rules that will be hugely difficult for both Pennsylvania businesses and Pennsylvania local governments to meet? A recent DEP report to the EPA on the subject of ozone even offers the following (emphasis added):

Significant reductions in the monitored ozone values have occurred from when the 1997 8-hour ozone designations were made in 2004 until today. This reduction in ozone levels is due to many factors which include the reduction in transport of NOx emissions from upwind point sources, and lower sulfur levels in transportation fuels along with better emission controls on highway vehicles and nonroad equipment.

We know, of course, emissions have been dramatically lowered by the substitution of natural gas for coal and oil. The shale revolution has accomplished wonders in that regard with no help from government and extending the availability of natural gas to more areas will not only spur Pennsylvania’s shale economy but also lead to further substitutions and still cleaner air. Just imagine how much more can be done if we replace gasoline with CNG.

This brings me to my second problem with Wolf’s demagoguing here. Why isn’t he getting his DEP to move on stalled pipeline permits for projects, such as the Atlantic Sunrise, for example, which already have FERC approval, rather than wasting time on this nonsense? Isn’t promoting the use of natural gas over coal and oil a lot more important and more meaningful in reducing emissions? The answer is obvious. Our governor is a showboat and little more.

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4 thoughts on “Wolf Postures and Wastes Time While DEP Permits Languish

  1. This is what happens when politicians and lawyers think they’re engineers. cuomo famously worried that children might fall down gas wells. Fools…

    Could not agree more re leftist AG’s prosecutorial abuses. Racketeering with unlimited public funding.

  2. Ha! What are we NY now made me laugh. Actually we are all just following in the footsteps of Vermont! The first state in the united States to ban fracking via legislation with only Maryland joining them this year. The home of the antifracking most popular senator as I am constantly reading Bernie Sanders and the former home of the antifracking and all infrackstructure Zephyr Teachout!

  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/pipelines-and-protests-why-environmentalists-oppose-funneling-natural-gas-under-the-potomac-river/2017/08/02/c9914388-671a-11e7-8eb5-cbccc2e7bfbf_story.html?utm_term=.31fa75475a14

    By the way this seems like a lot of words written by a reporter at wapo about why environmentalists oppose this one specific pipeline. What are the odds that the reporter knows little about the antifracking pipeline resistance movement, the specific proposal in question and even less about energy from a big picture perspective? I would say they are high. And her work is poor. Who are the environmentalists that are opposed to that pipeline? That cannot be determined?

    Reporters cannot even get the who in the what, what, when and why correct or in specific and they think they can come up with they why? With little research into something that has been playing out and escalating for years now?

  4. Also one wonders how nps can issue any permit for that potomac pipeline without congressional authorization? My understanding is the national Park service cannot issue permit for natural gas pipelines without congressional action.

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