HARRISBURG – The bipartisan effort to protect family-sustaining jobs and Pennsylvania’s economic future led by state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) took another step forward today with passage of his bill that would force punitive actions like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to face proper legislative process.
“House Bill 637
is a bipartisan, essential piece of legislation that requires General Assembly approval of RGGI,” said Struzzi. “Gov. Tom Wolf’s attempt to do an end run around the state Legislature and enroll Pennsylvania into a program like RGGI circumvents the constituents we were elected to represent. This will impact all taxpayers, especially anyone who pays an electric bill not only here but in neighboring states that depend on us for their energy needs, and these factors must be taken into account. In this process, they are not.”
RGGI is a market-based program designed to create a tax on carbon emissions in a proposed effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On Tuesday, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee overwhelmingly passed Struzzi’s bill that would require the possible imposition of RGGI to go before the General Assembly.
“It’s proper and just to give the people of Pennsylvania a voice in whether or not they support something with such wide-ranging implications,” Struzzi added. “I can’t fathom why the governor would want to travel this route and basically ignore the voice of our constituents.”
Struzzi says Pennsylvania is already seeing such reductions through the governor’s own Climate Action Plan, thus rendering RGGI unnecessary.
“Our coalfired electric generation plants have already invested millions to reduce carbon emissions well below expected standards. Pennsylvania’s existing energy portfolio must include coal, a substance which allows us to stand out as the No. 1 exporter of energy in the country,” commented Struzzi. “We must have balanced energy resources that can account for highs and lows in demand. Without the consistency of coal, we create a dangerous situation for failure much like Texas experienced this past winter.”
“On the local level, the dramatic shift in energy policy will translate into further loss of jobs that will destabilize local economies through plant closures and a declining tax base. For these reasons, a drastic move like imposing RGGI on our Commonwealth without allowing its residents to speak their peace is unfair and without precedent. I cannot sit by and allow this to happen without letting the voice of the people I represent be heard,” concluded Struzzi.
House Bill 637 was previously introduced as House Bill 2025 during the 2019-20 session. The bill passed through the House and Senate before being vetoed by Gov. Wolf.
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5937 (cell)
RepStruzzi.com / Facebook.com/RepStruzzi