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Sustainable Election 2018 - PA U.S. Senate Race

Laws and policies that promote sustainability would help grow our economy, create jobs, improve quality of life in our communities, make us healthier, reduce risks to our national security, and improve the lives of the poorest among us.  Widener Law Commonwealth's Environmental Law and Sustainability Center provides this information on the candidates’ sustainability positions in the spirit of public service, to help voters make informed decisions. 

Issues Lou Barletta (R)   Bob Casey (D)
Green Jobs & Green Business Supports EPA’s Environmental Workforce and Development Job Training program which provides training for green jobs in areas impacted by hazardous waste.
“Senator Casey introduced legislation to extend tax credits to efficient energy systems used by industry, including combined heat and power and waste heat to power systems. These credits will support manufacturers and other businesses adopt these systems, which will help them cut costs, reduce waste and curb pollution.” Source
Investment in Environmental Infrastructure Voted to address the infrastructure needs of U.S. waterways and enable states to develop programs for the recycling and disposal of coal ash.

Supported a grant for transit facility upgrades, green infrastructure, and streetscaping in Carlisle. Source
“Advocated for Amtrak, which employs 2,600 Pennsylvanians and is crucial to keeping Pennsylvania economically competitive.

“Helped secure $10.6 million for erosion repair to Presque Isle State Park’s infrastructure, supporting over 1,000 tourism jobs in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

“Secured $3.1 million for the Wyoming Valley levee raising in Luzerne County, a flood control project that allowed for riverfront development in Wilkes-Barre.

“Worked to reallocate $11 million to expand the flood protection system in Bloomsburg.” Source

 Clean Energy Applauded “Trump’s continued commitment to revitalizing the coal industry.” Source

Backed legislation for coal-fired plants to use leftover waste coal to generate energy. Source
“Senator Casey believes we must rise to the challenge of climate change and revitalize our economy by increasing our efforts in the areas of energy efficiency; developing and adopting cleaner ways of producing electricity; and creating jobs.”
Sustainable Agriculture Voted for the 2018 Farm Bill which streamlines and reduces regulatory burdens on farmers. Source

Supported eradication of the destructive Spotted Lanternfly to protect plant-based agricultural products. Source
“Senator Casey's legislation to provide permanent baseline funding for the Organic Agriculture Research Initiative was included in the Senate-passed Farm Bill. The bill also includes funding for organic cost-share assistance. This builds on provisions Senator Casey fought for in the 2014 farm bill that allowed organic producers to participate in an organic foods promotion program.”

Casey has also worked on a number of provisions aimed at “[helping] farmers implement conservation practices that will improve water quality and wildlife habitat, and help Pennsylvania meet its water quality goals.” Source
Sustainable Communities “Congress should rethink our approach to disaster funding and elevate mitigation as a top priority while disaster prone areas rebuild. Instead of rebuilding destroyed infrastructure as we have for decades, let’s ensure mitigation infrastructure replaces what failed during the disaster.” Source Casey “is committed to protecting the environment, preserving our national treasures and safeguarding the health of Pennsylvanian families.” Source
Climate Change Referencing the Paris Climate Accord, Barletta said: “I commend President Trump for withdrawing from this terrible deal.” Source

In 2010, Barletta said: “I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” Source
“Senator Casey supports the need for a comprehensive climate change plan and EPA’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. Senator Casey voted to support EPA’s Clean Power Plan and has spoken out against the [Trump] Administration's plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan. Senator Casey is also a cosponsor of the Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Act and has previously sponsored bills to support carbon capture and sequestration research and liability issues.” Casey also supports American commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. Source
Sustainable Transportation In 2016, Barletta said: “Congress must adopt policies that make the United States less dependent on foreign oil, allow for the responsible exploration of domestic sources of energy, and rein in federal over-regulation. We also must consider alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind, and make greater use of nuclear power.” Source In 2015, Casey introduced the Clean Vehicles Corridors Act, which would establish clean vehicle corridors along interstate highways nationwide. “Investing in clean energy helps the environment and boosts the economy,” Senator Casey said. “Pennsylvania has been at the forefront of clean energy development and this legislation can help our state and the nation takes the next step forward.”

The bill “would also allow states to modify high-occupancy vehicle lane restrictions to accommodate vehicles using cleaner alternative fuels and allow for the creation of designated parking spaces for vehicles using alternative fuels. Source
Marcellus Shale Fee or Tax Supports clean-coal technology and safe exploration of Marcellus Shale. Source Casey has no recent comments on a Marcellus Shale fee or tax, but in 2014, he voiced support for “responsible natural gas and drilling and coal mining” and said “Pennsylvania's natural gas reserves and coal mines offer great potential for jobs and economic progress for the region.”  Source
Environmental Protection “The EPA is an unelected bureaucracy which is trying to set standards that are simply impossible for the coal industry to reach.” Source

Introduced legislation to incentivize the reclamation of environmentally harmful coal refuse piles. Source
“Senator Casey supports our nation’s bedrock environmental and conservation laws, such as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He believes that they have contributed to significant improvement in our environmental stewardship in recent decades that that efforts to weaken or rescind their core authorities are misguided and dangerous to the health of humans and the environment.” Source 
 Parks & Forests Barletta has an 11 percent rating from the National Parks Conservation Association and a 0 percent rating from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. Source

Voted to protect private property rights to underground minerals. Source

Co-sponsored the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act to establish a fund for maintenance backlog needs of multiple agencies. Source

Casey has a 100 percent rating from the National Parks Conservation Association and a 100 percent rating from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. Source

In an open letter along with eight other Democratic senators, Casey criticized the Trump administration’s 2017 budget, which proposed cutting the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office by 12 percent. The funding cut, Casey warned, would negatively affect the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Trails, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, and coordinating programs. Source
Land Use Voted in support for Brownfields Reauthorization Act of 2017. "Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment is a critical tool to ensuring environmental safeguards are in place to revitalize hazardous waste areas." Source

Supported a policy giving “property owners greater control of underground oil, gas, or mineral rights that include hydraulic fracturing on property acquired with Federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation funds.”  Source
Casey worked with three other senators “to prioritize water quality improvement practices on working lands and to modify Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental rates so that CRP doesn't outcompete farmers for land access. Also included in the Senate-passed Farm Bill are provisions Senator Casey championed that will improve the effectiveness of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. All of these provisions will help farmers implement conservation practices that will improve water quality and wildlife habitat, and help Pennsylvania meet its water quality goals.” Source
League of Conservation Voters Environmental Scorecard 2017 Score: 3%
Lifetime Score: 5%

2017 Score: 100%
Lifetime Score: 92%


The Center does not endorse any particular candidates, and no endorsement should be implied.  In addition, the Center does not endorse or affirm the accuracy of any statements made by any candidate about matters of fact.  Research and writing for the candidates’ positions was done by Leah Bobula and Richard Marcil, students at Widener Law Commonwealth.