Snyder supports bill to require legislative approval before Pa. could join regional greenhouse gas effort
HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – State Rep. Pam Snyder today joined several colleagues to support a bill that would require legislative aproval before the state could formally enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which requires any carbon-producing power plant to purchase allowances in order to continue to operate.
Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, said RGGI would create an unfair tax burden, lead to the loss of thousands of family-sustaining jobs, and lead to significant economic devastation in her district. She is in support of H.B. 2025, which would require legislative approval before the state Department of Environmental Protection could formally enter RGGI.
“RGGI has not shown to be effective in cutting carbon emissions in the nine northeastern states who are currently participating, and I do not believe the governor has the constitutional right to unilaterally enter into such an agreement without legislative approval,” Snyder said. “My region would be adversely and directly impacted by RGGI by forcing energy companies to pay millions of dollars in taxes, and as a result, those jobs will leave our region and devastate our families.”
Snyder said the governor’s executive order last month, directing DEP to begin the process of joining RGGI, did not consider these impacts, and adds that joining RGGI could actually raise electricity rates across the state.
“Pennsylvania has already reduced its carbon footprint significantly, without joining RGGI, and we still need gas and oil production in our state to meet energy demands, especially as we head into the winter season,” Snyder said. “While I believe the governor’s intentions are good, we must have a process and the legislature has to be involved. A carbon tax is a major energy and fiscal policy initiative, and if such a tax is to be imposed on our energy companies, it must emanate from the General Assembly.”