SPRINGFIELD, PA – October 5, 2021 – I applaud Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s decision to criminally charge Energy Transfer Partners with environmental crimes for their disastrous pipeline construction. 

Today’s announcement is a step toward justice and signals the need for stronger laws that will prevent fossil fuel corporations from damaging our environment, homes, families, and workers.

Experience has shown us that current statutory protections and wrist-slapping penalties are not enough to discourage companies like Energy Transfer Partners from committing grave environmental violations or compromising workers’ safety.  New legislation addressing environmental infractions is imperative to public safety, worker protections and the vitality of our future.

My Democratic colleagues in the Senate and I have introduced legislation to greatly increase safety measures and environmental protections for natural gas transmission pipelines. The Attorney General’s criminal charges today underscore the overwhelming need for stricter measures to protect Pennsylvanians from corporate recklessness. Based on the Attorney General’s grand jury investigation, we are also introducing legislation to protect Pennsylvanians living near fracking sites, who are suffering from the same environmental hazards and endangerment as families close to pipeline construction.

We cannot allow profit-driven fossil fuel companies to bully Pennsylvania families and treat the state like their personal sandbox. Now is the time to create meaningful laws that protect us against preventable environmental disasters, like the one caused by Energy Transfer Partners. When grave violations are committed, consequences of the same merit should follow.