Dirty Energy Team

Smoke stacks from a coal plant rise in the air from behind trees polluting the air

Image by Mark Schmerling, Sierra Club PA volunteer

Mission: Disrupt the development of Dirty Energy in Pennsylvania by

  • resisting projects that continue or expand the production or use of fracked gas, such as pipelines, fracking operations, gas transport and export, burning plastics for energy, and ethane cracker plants.
  • tracking developments in Pennsylvania's CO2, hydrogen, coal, and nuclear power.
  • educating communities about the health, environmental, and economic impacts of dirty energy and supporting policies to remediate them.  
  • holding industry and utilities responsible for the true cost of their using dirty energy. 
  • supporting the staff and leadership of the Pennsylvania Chapter in this mission.

2023 Priorities

  1. Public safety issues of fracking in Pennsylvania.
  2. Pennsylvania legislation affecting the safety of fracking, particularly from methane emissions and drilling waste.
  3. Identifying best-practices (such as zoning) for Pennsylvanian municipalities to resist the expansion of local fossil fuel operations and infrastructure.

Join Us - Meetings and Events

We are always looking for new people and ideas.  Please join our next bimonthly meeting!

We meet via video on the fourth Wednesday of  odd-numbered months from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

  • Look for PA Chapter Dirty Energy Team - Bi-Monthly Meeting on  our event calendar for details and registration.
  • To ask about the Dirty Energy Team or learn how you can support it, please complete a Volunteer Interest Form.


Recent Accomplishments

Methane Madness 

Speaker:  Kelsey Krepps (Dirty Fuels Campaign) and Emily Davis (Geodelphia)
Date: March 14, 2023
Hosted by: Dirty Energy Team and Geodelphia


Kelsey Krepps, Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels, discussed the numerous sources of largely unmeasured methane escaping throughout Pennsylvania's gas extraction and transportation industry.

Emily Davis, Geodelphia Volunteer, Southeastern PA Group, updated us on the Geodelphia project to map gas leaks in the aging distribution pipes under the streets of Philadelphia.


Strategies for Challenging Pipeline Projects:  The Case Mariner East and The Safety 7 Team

Speaker:  Safety 7 Team
Date: July 14, 2021
Hosted by: Dirty Energy Team 

The “Safety Seven Team” of Chester and Delaware County residents sued Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners before the PA Public Utility Commission to halt construction of the Mariner East pipelines until serious safety concerns were addressed.   The successful outcome of this case foretold improvements in the air, water, and soil of Pennsulvania and neighboring states, and in the wanton production of single-use plastics internationally.  We heard an update from the Safety 7 Team on how the case fits in the broader fossil fuel picture and lessons learned. 

Call To Action!

Pennsylvania Legislation


  • H.B. 962 (Energy, Natural Gas)   Restoring the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Quality Board to adjust bonding amounts for conventional oil and gas wells

  •  H.B. 477 (Energy, Natural Gas)   Removing the exceptions to disclosure that allow companies to hide the chemicals they use in the fracking process; and requiring disclosure of chemicals 14 days prior to use at any stage of the fracking process, including drilling.

  • H.B. 367 (Energy, Water, Natural Gas)   Requiring that gas well operators add tracer substances directly to fracking fluids before using them in fracking operations. Tracer substances would allow for the identification of fluids used by gas well operators which would help regulators identify the party responsible for related water quality impairment.

  • S.B. 28 (Energy, Waste, Natural Gas, Hazardous Waste )  Amending the Solid Waste Management Act to include natural gas drilling waste in the Act’s definition of “hazardous waste”.

  •  S.B. 26 (Energy, Waste, Natural Gas, Hazardous Waste)  Repealing the exemption for the oil and gas industry from complying with the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Act.

  •  S.B. 29 (Energy, Waste, Natural Gas, Hazardous Waste)   Ensuring oil and gas operators follow the same rules as other industries by closing the loophole that allows toxic and radioactive material in drilling waste to enter public water systems through landfill leachate.


  • H.B. 1182  (Energy, Natural Gas) Prohibiting state agencies and municipalities from prohibiting appliances based on the type of energy they use. This is a ban on gas stove/gas appliance bans.

  • S.B. 143 (The American Legislative Exchange Council & Industry Bills, Preemption)   Preempting local governments and hindering climate action by preventing bans on gas hookups in new construction.  [The Council is a conservative policy organization.]

  • S.B. 254 (Transportation, Car Emissions)   The suspension of enforcement by the Department of Environmental Protection of any provision of the Pennsylvania Heavy-Duty Diesel Emissions Control Program shall expire regarding heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines beginning with model year 2027.

  •  H.B. 55  (Energy, Public Lands, Natural Gas) Ending the moratorium on gas development in state parks and forests. 


  • S.B.562 (Transportation, Emissions)  Exempting Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, and Westmoreland Counties from the vehicle emissions test.

  • H.R. 67 (Energy, Pipelines)   Resolution urging pipeline development.

  • H.B. 740 (Energy, Pipelines)   Rededicating a portion of the Commonwealth’s unconventional gas well impact fee to create a grant program to provide funding to local governments based on the length of pipeline in the community and the population density.


Publications and Other Resources


"Fighting Oil and Gas" (www.sierraclub.org/beyond-dirty-fuels).

"Buried Out of Sight:  Uncovering Pennsylvania's Hidden Fossil Fuel Subsidies", PennFuture Pennsylvania Fossil Fuel Report, Feb 2021.

"America, Let's Move Beyohnd Coal and Gas" (https://coal.sierraclub.org).

"Fracking and a Community Turned Upside-down", Karen Melton, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, June 2021.

Tracking Gas Wells in Pennsylvania, FracTracker Alliance (www.fractracker.org).

"Out of Control: The Deadly Impact of Coal Pollution" (Coal Mortality Report) , Sierra Club, February 2023.

Blogs & Articles

Nuclear Power under Pennsylvania’s Climate Action Plan , July 2022.

Overview of Pennsylvania's 2021 Climate Action Plan , Feb 2022

Both items at https://www.sierraclub.org/pennsylvania/dirty-energy-team