– Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) announced today the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) attempted to bypass the Legislature on Monday by submitting a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) regulation, through the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), to the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin Office for publication. The regulation was denied because the General Assembly must be able to take action on a disapproval resolution under the Regulatory Review Act.
According to James, Pennsylvania is at a critical juncture because thousands of hard-working residents in the Commonwealth are in jeopardy of losing their jobs, families would face unaffordable monthly energy bills and the economy would experience a significant drop as a result.
He denounced the DEP and EQB, as well as gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Josh Shapiro, by releasing the following statement:
“Once again, Governor Wolf and his administration have apparently taken the law into their own hands. Luckily, the Legislative Reference Bureau explained the law to them. The House will be taking action on a disapproval resolution which already passed the Senate.
“Attorney General Shapiro in his official capacity approved the final RGGI regulation, while gubernatorial candidate Shapiro questioned the policy when talking to members of the Building Trades unions. The fact is, RGGI is a failed attempt to impact climate trends. Joining RGGI would harm Pennsylvanians while having little impact on climate trends.
“According to a June 25 report on StateImpact Pennsylvania, joining RGGI will cost energy consumers $2 billion over a nine-year span, which means families would be paying nearly $400 more per month on energy needs. According to Pittsburgh Works, Pennsylvania residents pay $9.81 per kilowatt hour, which ranks 25th in the United States. The price for Massachusetts, a RGGI state, was $18.40 per kilowatt hour – nearly double the rate of Pennsylvania.
“All of the RGGI states have experienced job losses and increased cost of living, while failing to significantly reduce CO2 emissions or impacting climate trends. That theme would remain the same in the Commonwealth. According to the CO2 Coalition’s July report titled ‘Pennsylvania’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Relies on Faulty Data,’ 22,000 jobs could be eliminated, resulting in nearly $282 million in lost income and $7.7 billion in total economic loss.
“When will Gov. Wolf and his extremist allies stop governing by talking points, and start governing cooperatively as our Founders and the Constitution intended?”