Excerpted from PA Senator Katie Muth’s August 10 newsletter to constituents:
Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania released their legislative scorecard, which tallies most of the votes that impact air, water, and public health. Pennsylvania’s constitution guarantees our right to a clean and healthy environment, yet our Commonwealth ranks as the third-highest emitter of climate pollution in the nation and has the third-highest rate of cancer. Our rates of lung diseases, like asthma, remain far above the national average. Many of our counties rank among the worst communities in America for air pollution and more than a third of our lakes and a fifth of our streams are considered greatly impaired.
On top of all of those threats to our health, in 2020 our Commonwealth faced the COVID19 pandemic, a disease exacerbated by asthma and lung disease. And as always, these threats fall disproportionately on the Black, Brown and low-income communities often forced to live next door to the worst sources of pollution. Rather than dealing with those myriad issues, the Pennsylvania General Assembly instead spent the last two years seeking to derail the agencies that protect our environment and health, to promote and incentivize more fracking and more plastic, and to roll back or eliminate vital environmental laws and regulations. Too often, the general public does not know about the environmental attacks that take place each session in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
On a positive note, the General Assembly scored the amendments that I offered on HB 732, which would have required environmental impact studies and a greenhouse gas emissions plan.