– Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) expressed disgust over the latest actions of Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration to force Pennsylvania into the job-crushing Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
This week, the Environmental Quality Board, which is made up primarily of Wolf appointees and tasked with adopting all Department of Environmental Protection regulations, voted 15-4 to move forward with the plan that would impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants in the Commonwealth.
“There are so, so many things wrong with the entire RGGI concept, but I am especially concerned right now with how the governor is again looking to circumvent the checks and balances of government envisioned by our founding fathers,” Warner said. “No one person, regardless of his position, has the power to tax without the consent of the people and that is EXACTLY what the governor is trying to do by pushing RGGI through the regulatory process instead of the legislative process.
“His actions fly in the face of the basic principles of our system of government and are an insult to the people of Pennsylvania who elect senators and representatives to be their voice on the issues that impact them the most,” he continued. “RGGI will, without a doubt, have a devastating impact on families across the Commonwealth, as many people working in the energy industry will lose their jobs and all of us will be hit with higher bills to light and heat our homes.
“We will continue fighting against this devastating policy and for the families supported by this vital industry,” Warner concluded.
The next step in the RGGI process will be consideration by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which is slated to meet Sept. 1. If the regulations are approved, Pennsylvania would be the only RGGI state participating as the result of executive action alone.