HARRISBURG - The Environmental Quality Board (EQB), which is tasked with adopting all Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations, today advanced Gov. Tom Wolf’s effort to enroll Pennsylvania in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative RGGI). The overwhelming vote by the 20-member independent board now sends the measure before the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which will meet Sept. 1 and vote on final approval.
State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana), who has authored legislation (House Bill 637
) that would require legislative approval of any carbon tax on employers engaged in electric generation, manufacturing or other industries operating in the Commonwealth, issued the following statement in reaction to the EQB decision:
“The EQB vote is disappointing for so many reasons, the greatest of which is the undeniable impact RGGI will have on our state’s economy and the lack of concern Gov. Wolf and DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell have expressed for Pennsylvanians who stand to lose their jobs and livelihoods while never having a voice in the process.
“No public comment was allowed at today’s EQB hearing. Other comment periods were inadequate, held only by video conferencing rather than actual, face-to-face public input. I’ve invited both the governor and Secretary McDonnell to come to Indiana County and hear from our constituents who are already feeling the effects of a carbon tax through coal-fired electric generation plants that are closing or threatening to close, such as the Chessick plant in Allegheny County. They’ve refused to own up to the job loss that will be significant, and the subsequent domino effect that will result in the closing of further businesses as coal and energy jobs go out of state. In addition, their solution is to thrown money at the ‘problem,’ and a one-time stipend is not what these families and communities need. They want and deserve stability, as Gov. Wolf’s one-sided RGGI push is threatening to destabilize our region.
“Every Pennsylvanian will feel the effect of enrollment in RGGI. We are our country’s top exporter of electricity, which means we are heavily depended on - and that reliance by other states generates revenue for us. The governor is about to knock the feet right out from under his own constituents, and he is afraid to allow his singular desire to go before the Legislature and face the voice of the people."
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5937 (cell)