– State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) is reintroducing legislation which Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed in the 2019-20 session that would have required Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to be taken up in the General Assembly.
“The governor’s continued pursuit of this job-killing initiative as an executive measure needs to end,” Struzzi said. “If he wants to pursue this and be fair, he must give the people of Pennsylvania a voice through the Legislature in whether or not they want their state involved in a campaign that is destined to cost taxpayers their livelihoods and drive up energy bills in a way that will place an added burden on household budgets throughout the state.”
Struzzi has introduced House Bill 637
, which would require public comment and consideration by the General Assembly before Pennsylvania enrolls in RGGI, which is referred to as “the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The governor is simply not listening to the many, many voices opposed to this measure. Bringing RGGI before the Legislature for a vote is the only fair way to give Pennsylvanians a say in the matter.” added Struzzi. “My bill, which had bipartisan support in the House and the Senate when passed last session, does not question climate change or debate environmental pros and cons. It simply asks the governor to allow that discussion, rather than forcing this initiative on us without due consideration of the detrimental economic impacts.”
Struzzi is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and was disappointed earlier this week when he questioned Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell about RGGI.
“The power plants in my district are on record as saying they are headed for Ohio and West Virginia if RGGI is implemented,” Struzzi continued. “I asked the secretary to come to my district and face the folks who work hard and pay their school taxes as members of families that have been doing that for generations. He was obviously uncomfortable and responded with an answer that was awkward and insufficient.
“In his budget address, the governor floated the idea of an Energy Communities Trust Fund as a way to ease the transition when the plants close. This funding would be grossly inadequate to cover the job losses and long-term impacts of local tax revenue lost if we lose these plants. What we truly need, and what I invite the governor to work with me to address, is better long-term energy policy that balances both economic and environmental impacts. We can do better to plan for the future without sacrificing jobs that are paying now, especially at a time when we are rebounding from the pandemic’s impacts on unemployment rates.”
“To me, it’s simple. We should not be the only state to enter into RGGI by circumventing the Legislature. Too much is at stake and I’m not giving up,” Struzzi concluded.
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Struzzi’s Indiana district office at 724-465-0220.
Struzzi Challenges DEP Secretary: “Come to Indiana County!”
It took less than two minutes for the head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environment Protection to show why I continue to fight against Gov. Tom Wolf's campaign to shove our state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) without legislative approval.
Here is a link to a recording of my disappointing exchange
with Secretary Patrick McDonnell during Monday morning’s House Appropriations Committee budget hearing.
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5967 (cell)
RepStruzzi.com / Facebook.com/RepStruzzi