Senator Joe Pittman slammed today’s veto by the Governor of legislation that would have increased legislative oversight on the proposal to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
The Senate approved House Bill 2025, introduced by Representative Jim Struzzi, by a bipartisan 33-17 vote, including five Democrats, on September 9. The bill also enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, where it was approved by a 130-71 vote on July 8.
House Bill 2025 would have created the Pennsylvania Carbon Dioxide Cap and Trade Authorization Act; clarified that the Administration does not have the authority to unilaterally join RGGI; and, prohibited the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from joining RGGI without Legislative approval.
“With his veto of House Bill 2025, Governor Wolf has signed the economic death warrant of the communities I represent,” said Senator Pittman, the prime sponsor of the companion bill (Senate Bill 950) in the Senate. “We will continue to explore all avenues, legislative and legal, to prevent the Governor from unilaterally increasing the bills of electricity consumers by $300 million while exporting thousands of good paying family sustaining jobs to other states.”
On October 3, Governor Wolf directed the DEP to join RGGI — a collaboration of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) set a cap on total Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from electric power generators in their states. In order to comply, power plants must purchase a credit or “allowance” for each ton of CO2 they emit.
If Pennsylvania joins RGGI, it would be the only major energy producing state in the compact and the resulting carbon tax on employers engaged in electric generation would devastate that industry and cost thousands of jobs.
“It is truly unfortunate that the Governor completely ignored the overwhelming bipartisan support HB 2025 received in the General Assembly,” Senator Pittman said.
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