Statement by Senator Gene Yaw, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on House Bill 2354 – Legislation to Require a State-Specific Carbon Reduction Plan:
In June, the EPA proposed its Clean Energy Policy as part of President Barack Obama’s Action Plan addressing climate change requiring a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
During the summer, the state Senate held two public hearings to address the proposed federal policy, which has been met with skepticism from Pennsylvania’s coal industry and business community who argue that the proposal would increase electric prices and raise the cost of doing business in the state. Subsequently, environmentalists, including those supporting the solar, wind and energy efficiency sectors, heralded the Obama administration’s proposal.
The Clean Power Plan is unprecedented in that it can have long lasting effects on not just our environment, but also energy generation, energy usage and our economy.
As legislators, we have an obligation to the environment, but we also have an obligation to the consumer. We have to balance the needs of both as we examine a complex issue like this one, which is why I think it is imperative for this committee to look at the short and long-term effects of this federal proposal on our environment and overall economy.