Chamber Minute

May 2019

PA Chamber Minute May 2019

Hi, I’m Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber.

Welcome to this month’s Pennsylvania Chamber Minute.

Our organization advocates in support of regulatory policies that help to ensure environmental safety while also encouraging employers to grow the economy. We’ve recently been engaged in this regard in multiple ways.

First, we’re urging the state Senate to act on a regulatory reform package that just passed the House and would make important changes to Pennsylvania’s development and permitting processes, giving businesses the predictability they want and deserve.  The bills range from allowing for third party permit reviews, which would expedite what’s currently a lengthy permitting process; assisting companies with regulatory compliance; and requiring lawmakers to review any proposed regulations that would cost $1 million or more a year.  We support these bills because we’ve long heard from our members about their struggles in complying with government bureaucrats’ costly regulations, only to see those standards become even more stringent after they’ve spent significant time and money working to adhere to the laws on the books. 

The Pennsylvania Chamber also recently co-authored a letter to the Environmental Quality Board prior to its decision to further study a petition that would establish an economy-wide cap-and-trade program across Pennsylvania.  We joined more than a dozen business and industry groups in raising a number of policy and regulatory concerns with the petition – including its constitutionality and the impact the program would have on the state’s overall economy.  As I said in a statement following the EQB’s vote to accept the petition for further study, this regulation would be among the most costly and sweeping programs ever implemented by state government. We’re now urging the Department of Environmental Protection to address the private sector’s numerous questions and concerns about this far-reaching regulation. 

As we warn elected officials about the full impact of strict regulations on the state’s ability to attract and retain employers, we’re also informing them of the number of ways that companies are taking it upon themselves to invest in new technologies and adopt policies that make their operations cleaner and greener – without heavy-handed government mandates. 

Here are the key takeaways from this month’s message:

  • The Pennsylvania Chamber is urging the Senate to pass a package of bills that would reform Pennsylvania’s regulatory laws, making the state more competitive and giving employers the predictability they need to operate and expand.
  • We’re raising concerns about the far-reaching impacts of a costly proposed cap-and-trade program.
  • Regulations should be crafted with the dual purpose of protecting the environment and allowing for economic opportunity.

Thanks for spending a minute of your time with the Pennsylvania Chamber, the Statewide Voice of Business.