Yaw Statement on Rulemaking Petition to Establish a Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program

State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), Chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued the following statement on the Environmental Quality Board’s (EQB) consideration of a rulemaking petition to establish a statewide, multi-sector cap and trade program:

“I have serious concerns with respect to the rulemaking petition submitted by the Clean Air Council, Widener University Commonwealth Law School Environmental Law and Sustainability Center and other petitioners.  Quite frankly, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) does not have the statutory authority to undertake such a rulemaking regulating greenhouse gas emissions. This action intrudes on the General Assembly’s exercise of powers, and I believe action on this rulemaking would set a dangerous precedent moving forward.

Any revenues collected through this carbon pricing scheme would essentially impose an unconstitutional tax, a tax which has not been authorized by the General Assembly.  I’d echo the concerns expressed by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.  Have the petitioners, or those supporting this measure, given any consideration to the impacts this petition would have on our workforce, our economy, our residents and households?  This petition would have far-reaching consequences on our economy, consumer costs and job creators which have not been adequately considered by the Department.

I believe there are ways to reduce carbon emissions and my Committee will continue to focus on those technologies moving forward, but we do it in a way that’s responsible and sensitive to our system of government.  I’m open to ways on what that may look like.  This rulemaking petition is an overreach. I have voted “no” and will explore all options to ensure that the Department and EQB adhere to our rule of law.”

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