HARRISBURG – Citing the loss of Pennsylvania jobs, inflated energy prices and lost economic opportunities to other states, several House Republican members today called on Gov. Josh Shapiro to accept the recent Commonwealth Court decision that Pennsylvania’s enrollment in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is unconstitutional and to appeal it.
“Pennsylvania's workers have lost hundreds of thousands of man hours and more than $7 billion in private investment since Gov. Wolf's executive order on RGGI. Pennsylvania is bleeding economic growth and energy production to nearby states, while our families and business pay more to turn on their lights.” said Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland), Republican chairman of the House Gas and Oil Caucus. “We need to leave the RGGI discussion behind us and go back to work on policies that grow our economy, increase jobs and benefit Pennsylvania families.”
“Make no mistake - RGGI is a Green New Deal energy tax which will kill jobs, threaten our energy independence and damage our economy,” said House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington). “We have an abundance of energy right here in our own backyard and must use this great resource to our advantage and give families access to affordable energy. I am pleased to see the court reach the correct decision. It is now up to the governor to act accordingly and keep us from entering RGGI so Pennsylvania can be competitive and reach its full economic potential.”
Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court voided Pennsylvania’s entrance into RGGI, a multi-state energy tax program that would have increased the costs to heat homes and turn on lights.
Joining RGGI was first pursued by former Gov. Wolf, who bypassed the General Assembly and enrolled Pennsylvania into RGGI by executive order. Without having gone through the General Assembly, the court ruled it was an overstep in executive power.
“Commonwealth Court struck down RGGI with good reason. The former governor went around the General Assembly to enact a disastrous tax on our energy producers,” said Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Republican Chairman Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter). “Gov. Shapiro, please don’t waste any more taxpayer dollars by appealing a policy that will increase energy costs on Pennsylvanians.”
“It’s been four years of suppression by the looming threat of this RGGI tax. I can see the Homer City Generating Station from the hill behind my house and it is sitting there idle,” said Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana). “That’s 130 jobs lost, gone to other states, where they support energy production. We can change course and reverse all of that starting tomorrow, if we put RGGI to rest, once and for all.”
“You can’t claim to be prolabor and pro-job growth and then support policies we know will cost us jobs and drive business development out of state,” said Rep. Eric Davanzo (R-Westmoreland). “Pennsylvania workers and the businesses that employ them deserve better than ‘woke agenda nonsense’ and I implore Gov. Shapiro to honor the court’s decision and not file an appeal.”
“We respectfully ask the governor to honor the court decision and allow the energy generation market in Pennsylvania to stabilize and encourage more investment from our energy partners,” said Michael Ford, secretary/treasurer of the Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council. “The trades look forward to working with both chambers and the executive branch to chart an energy policy for our Commonwealth that retains Pennsylvania’s status as the number one energy-exporting state while protecting the environment and expanding our economic growth.”
Representative Eric Nelson
Republican Policy Committee Chairman Representative Josh Kail
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Republican Chairman Representative Martin Causer
Representative James Struzzi
Representative Eric Davanzo
Pennsylvania House of Representatives