10 Jul 2020 Climate Scheme Averted in Pennsylvania
A “cap and trade” emissions scheme for the northeastern United States was dealt a serious setback after an overwhelming bipartisan majority of members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation requiring the governor’s plan to join a multistate plan to first undergo public investigation and receive legislative approval.
In June, National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. told The Epoch Times that legislators in Pennsylvania “have good reason to be concerned” about Governor Tom Wolf’s crusade to enter the Keystone State into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Unable to pass in the U.S. Congress over a decade ago, cap and trade schemes such as the RGGI seek to set limits on allowable emissions that would allegedly create a market for producers to peddle emissions credits amongst themselves. The National Center has long asserted that this will only raise energy costs and cause economic hardship for all Americans.
In Kevin Mooney’s Epoch Times article, he quoted Vince Brisini of Olympus Power calling the RGGI a “nuclear-tipped economic cruise missile aimed at coal-fired power plants and at the citizens” of many Pennsylvania counties involved in the coal mining and natural gas industries as well as related businesses.
The bill, which is expected to pass in the Pennsylvania Senate, does not bar entry into the RGGI. It does mandate public comment, legislative hearings and passage of a bill from the governor in order for the state to join it.
Wolf is now reportedly working on regulatory tricks to circumvent the legislature and impose the RGGI by 2022.
In the Epoch Times article, Bonner warned against such tricks:
Not only does Wolf’s unilateral action circumvent the legislature, it places tremendous financial burdens on ordinary Pennsylvanians – at the worst possible time.
Every state that has joined RGGI has wound up imposing significantly higher electricity costs to families and businesses. If one were to devise a scheme to guarantee outmigration of people and businesses, membership in RGGI would be one of the first steps.
While lawmakers supporting HB 2025 called the RGGI’s cap and trade scheme a “tax” that would destroy fossil fuel jobs and related services, its proponents claimed forcing changes in energy production by force of law would help the economy by reprioritizing largely unproven and infrastructure-lacking alternative energy sources.