HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte), Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) and Senator Joe Pittman (R-41) issued the following statement today in response to Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s failure to stand up to Governor Wolf on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI):
“Just a few short weeks ago at a campaign stop in Indiana County, Josh Shapiro said he had real concerns that RGGI would hurt families at a time when many are struggling to put food on the table. Speaking to a pro-energy community, he pledged to protect energy jobs. However, when he had an opportunity last month to keep his promise to those working families, he completely failed them.
“The Attorney General’s Office had two opportunities to stop Governor Wolf’s unilateral carbon tax that will lead to plant closures and cost countless Pennsylvanians their jobs. In both cases, he sided with Governor Wolf and put his own political interests ahead of his duty to stand up for the people.
“Energy jobs are vital to Pennsylvania families. All elected officials should be doing everything we can to build our energy economy and support new investments in our communities. It is extremely difficult to achieve that goal when certain elected officials shirk their responsibilities to the people they serve.
“Given the concerns that Attorney General Shapiro raised in October, we would welcome his vocal public support for our disapproval resolution that is under consideration in the General Assembly.”
- The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for reviewing potential regulations – including RGGI – for form and legality prior to those regulations taking effect.
- Shapiro’s office had a chance to review the Wolf Administration’s plan to join RGGI in September 2020 and again in late November 2021. On both occasions, his office sided with Wolf.
- In a recent Capital-Star article, Shapiro’s office claimed they could not challenge the Department’s interpretation that RGGI revenues would be a fee and not a tax.
- This is 100 percent false; if the AG did not have this authority, there would be no purpose in reviewing for legality in the first place.
- In addition, Pennsylvania is the only state to enter RGGI without legislative approval. Every other state entered the compact through legislation, not by unilateral executive action.
- Efforts are ongoing in the legislature to block Pennsylvania from participating in RGGI, including a recent Senate vote to disapprove the regulation.