Rachel Carson Bridge

Pittsburgh, PA – Emissions in Pennsylvania have fallen by as much as 92 percent since 1990, even as the Commonwealth’s energy demand and production have soared eleven fold from 2010 to 2018 and natural gas plant processing expanded more than eightfold during that same time, a Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) analysis released today finds.

The surprising and underreported trend demonstrates that we can have energy production, expanded pipeline infrastructure, and create sound environmental stewardship at the same time.

This is a significant feat for a state that is second only to Texas in natural gas production – which more than doubled to 36 percent of the state’s net electricity generation while nuclear energy generated another 39 percent according to the Energy Information Administration. Although the state’s industrial consumption dropped 4.67 percent, Pennsylvania still experienced massive emissions reductions.

This is a key factor in the data from 1990-2017 that CEA examined, which show Pennsylvania’s emissions of key pollutants have decreased across the board, with a:

  • 72 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx),
  • 92 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2), and;
  • 53 percent reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • 18 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2)

Further, these trends all occurred while Pennsylvania’s natural gas production soared eleven fold from 2010 to 2018, and natural gas plant processing expanded more than eightfold from 2010 to 2017.

“Pennsylvania’s energy industry is an important partner for a better environment and our state’s growth,” said Pennsylvania State Senator Camera Bartolotta. “As the CEA’s report underscores, we do not have to choose between a cleaner environment and a strong economy that requires more energy. Pennsylvania is among the nation’s leaders in emissions reductions, while our natural gas industry is producing at record levels.”

“As the data shows, environmental improvements can be achieved even as Pennsylvania’s economic growth accelerates,” said David N. Taylor, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “The continuous improvement of our advanced industrial practices is reducing Pennsylvania emissions even as our manufacturing sector is adding more value to our economy than ever before.  Specifically, cleaner-burning Pennsylvania natural gas is driving both of these positive outcomes.”

This analysis follows CEA’s Energy Savings Report for Pennsylvania, which found that families, small business and manufacturers across the state saved more than $30 billion thanks to low-cost energy over the past decade. While increased production has spurred economic development, it has also helped bring down energy prices to a region of the United States that already pays more than the rest of the country.

On average, Pennsylvanians spent $3,108 for their energy needs in 2016. With 12.9 percent, or nearly 1.6 million, of Pennsylvanians living at or below the poverty line, this translates to at least 25.6 percent of their income going toward energy expenses.

To view the analysis, click here.


About Consumer Energy Alliance

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is the leading consumer advocate for energy, bringing together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers, and manufacturers to support America’s environmentally sustainable energy future. With more than 550,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households and businesses across the country. CEA works daily to encourage people across the nation to seek sensible, realistic, and environmentally responsible solutions to meet our energy needs. Learn more at ConsumerEnergyAlliance.org.

Emily Haggstrom

P: 720-582-0242