News & Brews April 21, 2023

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Mastriano decided on 2024, but won’t say yet

Yesterday, state Sen. and former GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano said on Facebook Live that he and his wife decided weeks ago whether he would run for U.S. Senate in 2024. But he’s not making any announcement just yet. Meanwhile, POLITICO reports that Mastriano “is inducing panic among GOP officials as he inches closer toward a 2024 bid for the Senate after a disastrous showing in his Pennsylvania governor run in 2022.” Purportedly, former President Trump, who you’ll recall endorsed Mastriano last year, now also isn’t a fan. (Of course, Trump has a history of changing his mind on who he likes or doesn’t like.)

Philly LNG Task Force holds public meeting

Well, media paid attention to yesterday’s public hearing of the Philadelphia Liquefied Natural Gas Export Task Force. But if you expect to get unbiased coverage of the actual issue at hand, think again. The Inquirer headlined the story by saying environmentalists “protest being kept out” of the meeting. And WHYY (aka NPR) said the event drew “criticism for blocking community input.” Notably, Task Force Chair Martina White explained that those claiming their testimony was rejected had their requests submitted after all the panelists spots had been filled. And they will be welcome at future hearings. Read the hearing wrap-up here.

State lawmaker involved in single-vehicle crash

Republican state Rep. Torren Ecker (Adams and Cumberland counties) was involved in a single-vehicle crash on Tuesday night. Police are investigating it for alcohol. No one was injured. In a statement released yesterday, Ecker said, “Most importantly, I am relieved that my lack of judgment did not result in any injury to others or myself. I take responsibility for my actions. To my family, constituents, and colleagues, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible behavior and ask for your forgiveness. As this process moves forward, I will accept accountability and seek to restore the trust so many have put in me.”

EPA puts Pa. on pollution diet

The AP reports, “Pennsylvania must minimize its outsized role in polluting the Chesapeake Bay, according to a proposed settlement agreement announced Thursday that would subject the state to increased oversight from federal environmental officials. The agreement comes after other jurisdictions in the bay’s watershed — Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia — filed a lawsuit in 2020 arguing Pennsylvania wasn’t pulling its weight in their collective effort to reach a 2025 pollution reduction goal.”

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