We have a duty to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we put in our bodies.
“We know that your zip code has more impact on your health than your genetic code,” said Rep. Frankel. “The air we breathe, the water we drink, the ability to walk and play outside, and feed our bodies with good food, determines how we feel and whether we get sick.”
Frankel has introduced legislation to close the loopholes in the Clean Indoor Air Law in Pennsylvania to protect all workers and their families from the harmful effects of second and third-hand smoke and to allow local governments the ability to have stronger public health measures than the state.
The Clean Indoor Air Act took effect on Sept. 11, 2008, creating standardized rules requiring most Pennsylvania businesses to go smoke-free. However, due to broad exemptions for bars and casinos, thousands of employees at more than 1,700 businesses are still exposed to tobacco smoke in their workplace.
“This is a simple matter of fairness,” Frankel said. “If you work in most businesses in Pennsylvania, your lungs are protected. But if your job is one of the more than 1,700 that have asked to be exempt from the law, you’re not. It’s been a decade. We know the law works. Let’s make it work for everyone. All Pennsylvania workers have a right to breathe free.”
Frankel is also fighting to provide the oversight and regulation of gas companies operating in Pennsylvania. He believes there is an urgent need to regulate polluters already present in the region and has repeatedly called for additional resources to regulate the fracking and petrochemical industries.
Pennsylvania is the largest gas-producing state that doesn’t tax the extraction of our natural gas resources, while even very conservative states like Texas do. Frankel has called for effective taxation and regulation of the natural gas drillers since the inception of the industry. At a time when we face a serious structural deficit, it makes no sense to give away our natural resources without asking drillers to pay up.
Frankel was the prime sponsor of a bill that would have repealed restrictions inhibiting doctors from talking to their patients about the chemicals involved in fracking. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed with Frankel, striking down those provisions and appropriately prioritizing patients’ health.
In 2020, Frankel voted against a bipartisan bill to provide tax credits to future petrochemical facilities in Pennsylvania, at a cost of $22 million per plant per year, just as he voted against the $1.6 billion state incentive package in 2012 to support the current Beaver County cracker plant.
Frankel feels strongly that our region is well-positioned to move renewable energy forward, with state and local backing. “We should be investing in sustainable and renewable energy solutions, which I believe will be a source of good-paying jobs in the future.”