HARRISBURG – State Reps. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield/Cambria) and Mike Armanini (R-Clearfield/Elk) issued a statement in reaction to Monday’s vote by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on a concurrent resolution that disapproves of the Environmental Quality Board’s support for Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to enroll Pennsylvania in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which would place a carbon tax on existing coal-fired and natural gas-fired electric providers:
“On Monday, we joined the majority of our colleagues on the committee in condemning what we believe is an act by Gov. Wolf that stands to punish Pennsylvanians in a number of ways. We would be the only state in the compact in which the governor did NOT allow the decision to enroll in RGGI to go before the General Assembly. This initiative is clearly a tax and only the legislature has the power to tax.
“The Wolf administration has vowed to reimburse areas that will be hit hard by the eventual loss of jobs, which is why a significant number of labor unions have come out against RGGI. The coal mining industry employs more than 4,800 Pennsylvanians. The residual job loss in coal mining communities will impact tax bases, educational systems and local economies in general. There is no way they can be adequately and sufficiently compensated for what these towns and residents will have taken from them.
“From a statewide perspective, Pennsylvanians from border to border stand to lose. The tax to be paid by electric providers will inevitably be passed on to consumers. Furthermore, our state’s status as the No. 1 energy exporter in the country will be seriously threatened, which impacts our economy from a revenue perspective.
“It’s simple – if RGGI is so good for Pennsylvania, why won’t the governor bring it before the General Assembly? Why did the 11 existing compact members allow their legislators to make the decision? Gov. Wolf is choosing preference over process in silencing the voice of the people who will bear the brunt of his selfish decision.”
The resolution, which passed the Senate, now goes before the House, which has 10 legislative or 30 calendar days in which to act and present it to the governor.
Representative Tommy Sankey
73rd Legislative District
Representative Michael Armanini
75th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little