Pennsylvania Avoids a Disastrous Green New Deal Policy—For Now

For the time being, those are protected by the high costs of a “Green New Deal” initiative, which is being pushed through an executive order by Governor Tom Wolf. Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued an injunction against further implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

RGGI will prompt Pennsylvania to join other Mid-Atlantic and New England states “to try and reduce power sector CO2 emissions.” These states strictly limit carbon emissions by forcing them to pay for “credits” from electricity producers. It’s a tax on everything except the name. According to Pennsylvania state law, only the legislature—not the governor—can pass taxes. Joining the initiative through executive order is completely unconstitutional in our state.

The governor is no stranger to executive redundancy. Last year voters agreed to amend the state’s constitution to rein in Wolf’s emergency powers related to COVID. Here he goes again.

But Wolf is a lame duck, and RGGI’s ultimate fate cannot be decided by his watch. This issue should be at the center of this fall in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. Pennsylvanians deserve to know whether nominees will respect the legislative process and find solutions that heal the environment without overburdening our citizens.

Republican Doug Mastriano Has History vote against RGGI as a state senator and is promised to take back That would make if Wolf were to apply this fall. Democrat Josh Shapiro, however, has a long history of hostility towards the energy sector and has sent mixed message On RGGI, on refusal take a position until after the election.

This must change, because if Wolf or his successors incorporate Pennsylvania into the RGGI, workers in our Commonwealth will have to be paid dearly. by a guessJoining the RGGI could increase Pennsylvania’s already skyrocketing electricity bill by 30 percent, as well as cost the state nearly 22,000 jobs and $7.7 billion, which has already been catastrophic by Wolf and President Joe Biden. Destroying the economy battling policies.

Why would our governor pay even more for working families to heat and light their homes in this time of inflation?

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 21: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf addresses supporters before former President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic candidates statewide on September 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mid-term election day is November 6.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

The answer lies in Wolf’s blind allegiance to the radical Green New Deal dogma. So the governor is pushing this idea through executive legal order, rather than getting Pennsylvania’s consent through their elected representatives.

But the legislature has made it clear that its constituents have no appetite for higher taxes and higher electricity bills. In fact, it was so strongly opposed that it passed legislation to disallow the implementation of RGGI. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf’s attempt to evade a veto fell short of one vote, setting up a fight in the courts.

Pennsylvania’s elected representatives are so opposed to RGGI because they understand that it will disproportionately harm our state, our region, and even negatively affect the rest of the world.

Pennsylvania is one of the largest exporters of electricity in the country, and it powers much of the Northeast. For example, Pennsylvania sells electricity to New York every day. That electricity is generated from the Marcellus shale gas that belongs to both Pennsylvania and New York – but New York would not allow it to be developed. Therefore, New York’s joining of RGGI had a negligible effect on the regional grid. But it would have a devastating effect on Pennsylvania’s ability to generate electricity, and therefore New York’s ability to buy it.

Pennsylvania can also play an important role in helping partners and allies around the world. Without RGGI’s penalty on carbon, Pennsylvania could emerge as a major natural gas export hub. We are in the midst of a global energy crisis, exacerbated by, but not limited to, Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Consuming countries from Europe to Asia are going into winter with limited energy reserves. Pennsylvania can play an important role in supplying them with electricity.

There are many plants and pipelines waiting to be built in our state. But none of them will advance as RGGI moves on. Big investments require certainty. The injunction against RGGI is only temporary. Governor Wolf’s administration has already filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court asking for the injunction to be stayed until the court hears the case.

We saw the cost to the state for Wolf’s abuse of power in terms of lives and livelihoods during the pandemic. We cannot address climate change by putting people out of work and destabilizing their financial situation. The voice of the people must now be heard, otherwise the next governor may have to pay the price for Wolf’s mistake.

Victoria Coates is a Distinguished Fellow on the US Foreign Policy Council and Donald J. Served as Deputy National Security Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa in the Trump Administration. Jennifer Stefano is Executive Vice President of the Commonwealth Foundation and a Fellow of the Independent Women’s Forum

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors.

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