This Week in the Shapiro Administration: Investing in Jobs and Protecting Our Communities to Continue Pennsylvania’s Proud Legacy as an Energy Leader
October 20, 2023
After announcing last week that Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation to secure two regional clean hydrogen hub projects, the Shapiro Administration capped and plugged its 100th well in just 10 months – surpassing the total of the past six years combined.
Harrisburg, PA – This week, Governor Josh Shapiro and his Administration continued to serve the people of Pennsylvania and its work to ensure that the Commonwealth remains a national energy leader for decades to come by securing two regional clean hydrogen hub projects and ramping up the Commonwealth’s efforts to cap abandoned and orphaned wells.
Last Friday, Governor Shapiro joined President Biden and Secretary of Energy Granholm to announce that Pennsylvania secured two regional clean hydrogen hub projects, which will create more than 41,000 good-paying jobs and maintain Pennsylvania’s position as a national energy leader.
On Wednesday, Governor Shapiro and the Department of Environmental Protection traveled to Hillman State Park in Washington County to announce that the Shapiro Administration has capped and plugged 100 wells under the Governor’s leadership – more wells than in the last 6 years combined. Today, Governor Shapiro joined Secretary Granholm and Senator Casey in Pittsburgh to announce a series of Department of Energy initiatives and investments into the Commonwealth.
Under Governor Shapiro’s leadership, the Commonwealth will continue to invest in and create energy jobs, spur growth and innovation, and protect our communities in order to ensure Pennsylvania remains an energy leader for decades to come.
Read about the Shapiro Administration’s work across Pennsylvania this week below:
Making Pennsylvania the Only State to Secure Two Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Projects:
- Governor Shapiro joined President Biden and Secretary Granholm in Philadelphia last week to announce that the federal government will invest $750 million to build the renewable Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) in Philadelphia and the surrounding region, which will create over 20,000 jobs – with a particular focus on union jobs.
- The Biden Administration also selected the ARCH2 Hydrogen Hub based in West Virginia, which will create 21,000 jobs for the Appalachian region, including in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
- The Shapiro Administration provided significant financial support to enable the preparation of the successful application of the MACH2 hub, coordinated the regional congressional delegation in support of the proposal, and engaged with the Department of Energy throughout the application process to voice support and help secure these hubs.
Plugging 100 Orphaned & Abandoned Wells in Just 10 Months, Surpassing Total Over Previous 6 Years Combined:
- As of this week, the Shapiro Administration has capped and plugged 100 wells under the Governor’s leadership – more wells than in the prior 6 years combined.
- The 100th well was plugged at Hillman State Park under an emergency contract with Yost Drilling after DEP followed up on reports from local residents concerned about the risks abandoned wells pose to public health and safety.
- Capping and plugging orphaned and abandoned wells improves public health, reduces planet-warming methane emissions, and creates good-paying jobs. That’s why Governor Shapiro has directed the DEP to draw down as much federal funding as possible to cap and plug the orphaned and abandoned wells that dot Pennsylvania.
- DEP has already allocated unprecedented resources to plug orphaned and abandoned wells, which has allowed Pennsylvania to leverage millions in federal funding under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Thanks to the IIJA, Pennsylvania is poised to receive more than $400 million in the coming years to cap and plug wells across the Commonwealth. This has already led to a dozen additional DEP staff specifically working on wells in Western Pennsylvania alone.
See what Pennsylvania leaders are saying about the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to creating clean energy jobs and plugging orphaned and abandoned wells:
- Amanda Leland, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund: “We are grateful to Governor Shapiro for his leadership in moving to address orphaned and abandoned wells, said Amanda Leland, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). “These wells can leak methane and air toxics, contaminate groundwater and surface water, create an explosion risk for nearby structures, and significantly reduce property values. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has helped jumpstart orphan well plugging in Pennsylvania – providing critical funds – and can help chip away at the state’s tens of thousands of documented orphan wells while work continues to identify the estimated hundreds of thousands of undocumented orphaned and abandoned wells in the Commonwealth.”
- Scott Kiger, CEO of Yost Drilling: “The Shapiro Administration’s orphaned and abandoned well plugging program is a win for the environment, our communities, and the industry, said Scott Kiger, CEO of Yost Drilling. “This program benefits local businesses and provides long-term employment opportunities for the residents of our state. Yost Drilling is proud to be a part of this milestone for Pennsylvania.”
- Davitt Woodwell, President of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council: “Today’s celebration highlights the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to investing in our environment and public resources as a key driver for wellbeing and economic success in Pennsylvania. From tackling the cost and challenge of our extraction legacy to creating an Office of Outdoor Recreation, Pennsylvania’s brightest future is one that serves environmental, community, and economic prosperity together.”
- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney: “The MACH2 and ARCH2 Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs represent transformative investments in our city and commonwealth, creating thousands of family-sustaining jobs and tapping into our vast talent pool. Over the next decade, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see that our current energy workers are part of a just transition to the new energy economy and ensure that the next generation of workers gets a chance to participate in the future of energy – here in Philadelphia and across the state.”
- Ryan Boyer, Business Manager of the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council: “This backdrop was specifically chosen because it represents what we are going to do with these jobs that the President of the United States helped us get with a $750 million grant for the hydrogen hub. With my brothers and sisters in Philadelphia Building Trades, we’re going to train the next generation of construction workers and infrastructure workers, and we’re going to build America back better. We have all the partners to make this a transformative project and create perpetual jobs and perpetual benefits for this region.”
- Jim Snell, Business Manager of Steamfitters Local 420: “The Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) has the potential to revolutionize the nation’s energy sector and make Pennsylvania a leader in clean energy development while driving economic growth and creating good-paying union jobs. By leveraging our infrastructure and expanding it strategically, we can accelerate the adoption of state-of-the-art hydrogen technology that provides countless new job opportunities and paves the way for a more sustainable, greener future.”
See more of what Pennsylvanians are seeing and reading about the Shapiro Administration’s work to maintain the Commonwealth’s legacy as an energy leader: