State Rep. Greg Vitali



Marcellus Works, but renewables work better


HARRISBURG, April 24 State Rep. Greg Vitali said the "Marcellus Works," a package of bills advancing through the state House that is aimed at putting more natural gas vehicles on the road, takes the wrong approach because it excludes other alternative fuel vehicles.


"The legislation could have been improved by expanding its scope to include other alternative fuel vehicles such as electric, hybrids and biofuels," said Vitali, Democratic chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. "I offered amendments that would do that, but they were voted down largely by House Republicans."


Vitali said electric and hybrid vehicles are better for the environment than natural gas vehicles because they emit less carbon dioxide and other pollutants that are causing climate change. He said it will not be possible to stabilize the Earth's climate unless the use of renewable energy is greatly expanded, and this package does not do that. Other fuels also help Pennsylvania industry. Electric vehicles are charged by electricity generated by natural gas-powered power plants; biofuels are produced by soybeans grown by Pennsylvania farmers.


Several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and PennEnvironment, have opposed the Marcellus Works legislative package.


“Another problem with the Marcellus Works package is it is funded at taxpayer expense," Vitali said. "Because the increased demand for natural gas will benefit gas drillers, it would be more appropriately funded by a tax on natural gas extraction.”


Vitali also introduced amendments to address this, which failed largely along party lines.




CONTACT: Bob Laylo
House Democratic Communications Office

Phone: 717-787-7895 Fax: 717-783-6839