For Immediate Release
September 10, 2020
HARRISBURG - PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in regards to the Senate’s passage of H.B. 2025; legislation that requires a more deliberative process with respect to the state’s potential participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
“With bipartisan votes in the House and Senate for House Bill 2025, members of both parties have voted in support of a process that broadens the opportunity for legislative and stakeholder input on the issue of addressing greenhouse gas emissions. It bears emphasizing that the legislature has only legislated directly on the issues of greenhouse gas emissions twice: through the passage of the Climate Change Act of 2008, which required the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop reports on estimated impacts and possible action steps to reduce emissions, and Act 175 of 2015, which required legislative review of the state’s plan to implement the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan.
“The governor’s decision to direct DEP to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for the power generation sector, could have a sweeping impact on the state’s energy and manufacturing sectors. As we have noted before, Pennsylvania would not be well-served if, as a result of this policy, the generation of electricity simply moves to a non-RGGI state, leaving us with less economic activity but no net change in emissions on a regional basis. Further, as a matter of good rulemaking, costs and benefits must be clearly defined, and policymakers must also, per the Regulatory Review Act, evaluate alternative approaches so as to minimize the impact on small businesses.
“These issues must be addressed in a manner that preserves Pennsylvania’s role as an energy exporter and that recognizes the leadership position the state has, through the embrace of competitive markets and the use of a diverse portfolio, to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Should the governor veto this legislation, that cannot be the end of collaboration between the legislature, the administration and the business community on how the state moves forward with addressing climate change.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.