The discovery of large natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale, and the development of technology to extract it, means more to this region and the country than jobs and economic growth.
It also brings the potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, which would improve national security and shield our economy from instability in the Middle East.
Oil and gas industry executives, along with local government officials met recently at Waynesburg University to discuss how we can transition more vehicles from gasoline to compressed natural gas.
The bottom line is that converting cars and trucks is only part of the problem. Converting our re-fueling infrastructure will be more of a challenge. It would mean linking compressed gasoline filling stations with natural gas transmission lines that are spreading around the state as part of the natural gas market.
The demand for natural gas vehicles will stall if drivers can’t be sure they can find a filling station along their route.
The important thing is that all of the stakeholders are getting together to work out the best way to proceed. Careful planning, timely incentives and education will be the framework for taking advantage of the tremendous opportunity offered by this domestic alternative fuel.
For more on the session at Waynesburg University, click here to read the coverage in the Observer-Reporter.
To spark conversion of vehicle fleets to natural gas, the Department of Environmental Protection announced last week it will now accept applications for its Natural Gas Vehicle Grant program, which will provide up to $20 million over the next three years to help pay for the incremental purchase and conversion costs of heavy-duty natural gas fleet vehicles.
For more on that program, click here.
Community Action Southwest Earns State Grant
The best time to stop child abuse is before it starts and Community Action Southwest is doing that job for the children of Washington and Greene counties.
CAS has been awarded a $120,000 state grant to help enhance child abuse and neglect prevention programs and outreach efforts.
The grant was awarded through Pennsylvania’s Children’s Trust Fund, which is administered by the state Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
The Community Action Southwest team genuinely cares about the community and is dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other. They have a proven record of changing lives and I’m confident that they will utilize this grant to enable individuals in Washington and Greene counties to develop the skills and knowledge to build strong, supportive family environments where children are safe and nurtured.
'Tis the Season to Start Thinking About Dog Licenses
Pennsylvania has some of the toughest dog laws in the nation and issues nearly 1 million dog licenses each year.
State law requires that all dogs three months or older be licensed. An annual license costs $8.45 and a lifetime license is $51.45. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.45 and lifetime is $31.34. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.
License fees support the Dog Law Enforcement Office in protecting the safety, health and welfare of dogs. In addition, the department licenses and inspects dog kennels, enforces activities related to dogs that are classified as dangerous, and processes claims for livestock damage caused by dogs.
Licensed kennels across the state are subject to a minimum of two unannounced inspections every year to ensure compliance with the law.