– On Thursday, Oct. 3, the governor issued an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to commence Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) regulations. Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) and Sen. Joe Pittman (R-Armstrong/Butler/Indiana/Westmoreland) have expressed their strong opposition to the governor’s decision, citing economic reasons.
RGGI would establish a regional cap on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution that power plants can emit by establishing a trading system. Each unit of trade, known as an allowance, would represent authorization for a power plant to emit one short ton (2,000 lbs) of CO2. Power plants in RGGI member states can trade allowances, preventing the total amount of CO2 emissions in the region from increasing. RGGI would also establish a carbon tax on fossil fuel users for the resulting CO2 emissions.
“I am adamantly opposed to this. This action would be severely detrimental to our local and regional economy, particularly in Indiana County. It would be extremely harmful to the coal industry, our coal fired electric generation power plants, manufacturing, local jobs, families and our local communities,” said Struzzi. “That is why I proposed legislation several weeks ago to prevent the governor from moving this forward without legislative approval. As the state representative for the 62nd Legislative District, I will do everything I can to prevent this and protect the people I represent.”
“I am deeply disappointed in the Governor’s decision today to unilaterally move forward with entering Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which taxes all carbon-emitting sources of generation and puts Pennsylvania generators at a competitive disadvantage against our neighboring states,” said Pittman. “The 41st Senatorial District provides thousands of family sustaining jobs through the generation of affordable, reliable, and resilient coal and waste coal electricity. The coal and waste coal electric plants in the 41st district employ close to 800 individuals at a salary well above the statewide average. While the Governor often touts his mantra “Jobs that Pay,” he has unfortunately chosen to disregard these fine men and women, and their families, in favor of supporting an unnecessary and expensive trading scheme. I choose to stand with and fight for these hard-working men and women and will continue to advocate for policies that ensure the future of these important electric plants.”
Indiana County has already achieved reduced carbon emissions in compliance with levels that the governor set previously.
“I understand the need to protect the environment and address climate change, but this is purely an effort to tax an industry that's finally back on its feet,” Struzzi continued. “RGGI in Pennsylvania will only drive more businesses and jobs out of our state.”
More information on Struzzi’s legislation can be found here
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)