HARRISBURG – According to state Reps. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) and Tommy Sankey (Clearfield/Cambria), voting for House Bill 2025
is as much about protecting Pennsylvania’s citizens from an unaccountable executive as it is about protecting jobs in key local industries.
“On more than one occasion during his time in office, our governor has made decisions that challenge the boundaries of our constitutionally established co-equal branches of government,” said Gabler. “His intent to unilaterally enter Pennsylvania into a multi-state cooperative that would negatively impact local jobs and hard-working families’ livelihoods is reason enough to send him this bill as a reminder of the limits of his authority.”
House Bill 2025, which passed the House Wednesday with bipartisan support, would reinforce the need for consideration by the General Assembly before Pennsylvania enters into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a mandatory 10-state cap-and-trade program designed to tax and regulate carbon dioxide from the energy sector. Wolf has chosen to ignore the legislative process and unilaterally begin laying the groundwork for enrolling the Commonwealth into RGGI, with a decision expected by the end of this month.
“What homework the governor has done to this point gets a failing grade,” Sankey stated. “In May, the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee was deadlocked when voting to move the proposal forward. Two weeks later, DEP’s Citizens’ Advisory Council rejected an 85-page proposal establishing a carbon dioxide budget trading program (carbon tax) in Pennsylvania. These groups have serious questions whether or not RGGI is right for Pennsylvania.”
Sankey added, “Our state is the nation’s No. 1 exporter of electricity, and we benefit from the resulting nearly $7 billion in revenue. Enrolling our state in RGGI would require our electric generating units to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in additional taxes. We know all families and job creators in our state will be asked to make up the difference through higher electricity bills. RGGI threatens to bankrupt and shut down our state’s power plants, potentially resulting in significant local job losses on top of our already-high unemployment figures.”
“It is important to note all 10 states currently enrolled in RGGI did so following a vote by their individual legislatures,” Gabler said. “Those 10 governors chose to seek the input of their citizenry in the process because it is how government should work. House Bill 2025 puts Gov. Wolf on notice that Pennsylvania’s citizens deserve the same respect.”