PA House Passes Bill To Block PA’s Involvement In Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

On July 8, House Republicans and 26 Democrats voted 130 to 71 to pass House Bill 2025 (Struzzi-R-Indiana) attempts to block Pennsylvania’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative without the approval of the General Assembly.

            The bill now goes to the Senate which is expected to take up the measures as early as this week.

“This bill gives a voice back to the people by allowing those of us who represent them to have say in this process. Any carbon tax will ultimately be paid for by Pennsylvania residents and businesses. Given Pennsylvania is already ahead of the carbon dioxide reduction goals established under the governor’s Climate Action Plan, why would we want to jeopardize thousands of Pennsylvania jobs and trigger significantly higher electricity rate increases when the existing competitive market has already achieved these gains?” said Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana), prime sponsor of the bill.

“The action to enter RGGI would have serious ramifications on Pennsylvania businesses, jobs, energy prices and future economic opportunities that are not being considered by the governor,” added Rep. Struzzi.  “During these unprecedented times, when Pennsylvania’s economy has been severely hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not the time to enact policies that would cost us jobs. I am standing in firm opposition to any sort of carbon tax being placed on our energy producers, especially if that decision is made without legislative approval.”

            One reason for the success in the House was the advocacy of some of organized labor, including the Boilermakers, who represent workers at some of the five remaining coal-fired power plants in the state.

            One worrying aspect of the House vote for proponents is the 130 votes is a few short of the two-thirds needed to override a veto of the bill by Gov. Wolf.

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