Bartolotta Outraged by Shortsighted Decision to Join RGGI

HARRISBURG – Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) issued the following statement in response to the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board’s decision to have the Commonwealth join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI):

“I am outraged by Governor Wolf’s attack on affordable energy and jobs. As Chair of the Labor and Industry Committee, I stand united with the numerous building trades and businesses which are opposed to the Governor strongarming Pennsylvania into a carbon tax plan.

“No other state that participates in RGGI has joined without approval of their respective Legislature. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Pennsylvania. Yet again, Governor Wolf and his administration decided to completely disregard the Constitution.

“Pennsylvania will also be the only major energy producing state to join RGGI. There is good reason that broad, bipartisan opposition exists across the state to join RGGI as this move will have a devastating ripple effect on our economy.

“Today’s decision, pushed by the Wolf Administration, means electricity price increases are likely on their way, as several regulatory boards have warned. In February, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) suggested a one-year pause on the Department of Environmental Protection rule-making to give businesses more time to adjust to the rising costs associated with joining RGGI.

“The Governor cannot even claim environmental benefits as the Pennsylvania State University found that 86% of emissions reductions realized by RGGI would only be picked up by Ohio and West Virginia when energy generation relocates there to escape the program.

“And yet, the edict was still made even though many lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, have expressed concern that RGGI would raise rates, as well as send plants and thousands of jobs west to less-regulated states. At some point, the Governor and his administration must stop with their crusade. Appeasing an uninformed minority at the cost of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue is simply reckless – the wrong decision by every stretch of the imagination.” 

CONTACT: Katrina Hanna, 717-787-1463