Meet Bobby McKinstry

portrait of Bobby McKinstry, democratic party candidate for pa state senate, smiling

Why I am Running for the 9th Senate District

I have devoted my life to protection of the environment, particularly in the area of climate disruption from greenhouse gas pollution. The current Republican General Assembly leadership has defunded and blocked efforts to protect our environment. I hope to reverse that trend and have the expertise to do so.
I was a plaintiff in the successful challenge to Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered federal Congressional Districts and am assisting in litigation seeking to hold Donald Trump accountable for his violations of Constitutional anti-corruption prohibitions. Senators elected in 2020 will participate in redistricting. I can help promote free and fair elections.

Robert McKinstry speaking at a conference on climate change and greenhouse gases
Bobby McKinstry Presenting Legal Solutions To Climate Disruption

Who I Am

I live on my family farm in East Marlborough Township, Chester County. I have three children and four grandchildren. In 2017, I was elected a Township Supervisor, one of the first two Democrats ever elected. I was educated in the District, attending the Kennett schools, Westtown School and Swarthmore College, where I graduated with Honors, was elected Phi Beta Kappa and was an All American swimmer. I was the first graduate from the joint degree program at Yale Law School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. I am a life-long member of Kennett Friends Meeting.
I am a nationally recognized environmental lawyer and am a fellow in both the American College of Environmental Law and the American Bar Foundation. I co-founded and headed Ballard Spahr LLP’s Environmental and Practice Group and its Climate Change and Sustainability Practice Initiative. I completed a six-year appointment to the Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resources Conservation at the Penn State School of Forest Resources in 2007.
I am proud to have made significant achievements in protecting the environment. I drafted a pending rulemaking petition seeking to have Pennsylvania adopt a greenhouse gas auction-cap-and trade program that will achieve the emissions reductions necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. I successfully represented leading climate scientists in Massachusetts v. EPA, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled there is authority to address emissions of greenhouse gases under the federal Clean Air Act. Due to that achievement, I received a lifetime achievement award from the Energy and Environmental Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. I represented clean energy companies supporting the clean air rules adopted by the Obama EPA against challenges by red state Attorneys General, including Scott Pruitt, before the Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation and Michigan v. EPA. I have been recognized by Chambers USA as a Leading Lawyer for Business in the fields of climate and environmental law, by The Best Lawyers in America in environmental law and environmental litigation, by Who’s Who Legal: Environment, and as one of Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers in environmental law.
I am proud of my long history of public service. I am Vice President of A Call to the Bar: Lawyers for Common Sense on Climate and a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. I served on the Boards of Westtown School, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Pennsylvania Resources Council and many other environmental and educational organizations. I am a Vice Chair and former Co-chair of the SEER Committee on Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems of the ABA Section of Environmental and Energy Law. I have taken a lead role in many state, regional and local greenhouse gas reduction planning processes, including those initiated by Chester County, Montgomery County and DVRPC. I am a Master in the Delaware Valley Environmental Inns of Court.

Robert McKinstry standing and smiling with democratic supervisors in East Marlborough Township, Pennsylvania
Bobby McKinstry as Democratic Supervisor in East Marlborough Township, Pennsylvania