Pennsylvania has historically been, and continues to be, home to an abundant array of energy resources like oil, gas, coal, timber, and windy ridgetops. Expectedly, these natural resources are found both on publicly and privately held land.
In Pennsylvania, the bulk of public lands are managed by two separate state agencies: the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), which manages the state’s forest and park system, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), which manages the state’s game lands. Both of these state agencies manage oil, gas, and coal extraction as well as timbering on state property. Interestingly, neither of the agencies have utility-scale renewable energy generation on their land.
Some of Pennsylvania’s best wind resources can be found on the mountain ridges in the Commonwealth’s state forests and game lands. However, all proposals to build utility-scale wind farms have been denied by state agencies.
Surprised to see that state lands have been greatly developed for different fossil industries but denied for wind energy, the Institute for Energy set out on a yearlong endeavor to collect as much information as it could about energy development on Pennsylvania public lands. Using formal Pennsylvania Right to Know requests, the Institute worked with both DCNR and PGC to examine development procedures and management practices. It reviewed hundreds of available state agency reports, scientific documents, and Pennsylvania energy laws and regulations. It also worked with FracTracker Alliance to develop interactive maps that depict where energy development has occurred on state lands.
Click here to see a summary of the Institute’s findings, including interactive maps.