HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) announced Wednesday that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming bipartisan majority to reassert legislative authority and require the General Assembly’s approval before the Commonwealth can enter multi-state compacts, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, that would increase energy taxes on Pennsylvanians.
“Runaway inflation and failed foreign and domestic energy policy leadership from Washington, D.C., has created skyrocketing costs on Pennsylvanians to heat their homes and fuel their cars. Pennsylvanians should not now be forced to pay more due to bad energy policy from the Wolf administration that would enter Pennsylvania into a costly multi-state carbon tax program,” Benninghoff said.
“The legislative check provided for in this legislation would ensure Pennsylvanians will not again be required to shoulder the burden of an executive branch’s unilateral authority that caters more to political ideology than their best interests.”
According to Benninghoff, the legislation that passed the House Wednesday also included an appropriation of $250 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide for energy sustainability and investment projects. Of this funding:
• $125 million is to be allocated to carbon dioxide and methane reduction technological development with $12.5 million of that to be used for methane abatement for the plugging of abandoned wells.
• $62.5 million is to be allocated to sewer and water infrastructure and storm water mitigation projects, including riparian planting for carbon dioxide reduction, stream buffering and streambank restoration.
• $62.5 million is to be allocated for assisting workers and communities impacted by electric generation or manufacturing plant closures, including, but not limited to, apprenticeship and training projects, extensions of unemployment compensation benefits, and investments in projects to redevelop the closed plant sites.
“This additional funding helps keep our constitutional demands to the environment while ensuring that, as Pennsylvania transitions to the energy sources of tomorrow, our workers and communities have the necessary tools to manage the change,” Benninghoff said.
The bill, House Bill 637
, was introduced by Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) and Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion). It passed the House Wednesday by a vote of 126 to 72 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives