HARRISBURG – While some states are advancing bills to prohibit certain types of energy sources, state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23) formally introduced legislation in the Pennsylvania Senate that would ensure state residents have options when it comes to fuel availability.
Senate Bill 275, known as “Energy Choice” legislation, would limit municipal entities from banning a specific type of fuel source for appliances and heating homes or businesses. The language is fuel-neutral and is not specific to one energy source.
“It’s about consumer choice and keeping energy costs low,” Senator Yaw said. “Pennsylvania is unique in that we have a myriad of energy options available to us. For example, I have constituents that still utilize wood as a fuel source to heat their homes. Should we prevent them from doing so? The answer is no. My bill will still allow those who want clean or renewable energy to choose it.”
Yaw noted that similar laws were passed in other states last year, and 12 bills are moving through other statehouses this year.
“It’s unfortunate that this legislation is even necessary in the first place,” Senator Yaw said. “When municipal governments start picking winners and losers, then we have a serious problem.”
“It is imperative Pennsylvania’s businesses retain the option to have access to every energy choice in order to stay competitive in an increasingly challenging global market,” said Gene Barr, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “As Pennsylvania’s history has shown, energy choice in the marketplace has yielded tremendous reductions in both costs and emissions, and we applaud the introduction of this legislation that will ensure those trends continue. We are hopeful this commonsense legislation passes with bipartisan support.”
“We are fortunate to have a variety of energy choices which provide us some of the lowest energy rates in the nation,” said Jeff Nobers, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Works Together, a nonpartisan alliance of labor unions, business and civic leaders working for an all-of-the-above agenda for job creation and balanced policy and regulation. “To allow local governments to restrict that choice would pit municipalities and counties against one another and create an unworkable impact on the energy, utility, and construction industries, and arguably lead to significant cost increases for energy especially hurting the elderly and low-income residents.”
The bill, which was referred to the Senate Local Government Committee on February 24, 2021, is awaiting committee action.
For more state-related news and information visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.
CONTACT: Nick Troutman (717) 787-3280