HARRISBURG – The Commonwealth Court has ruled the effort to force Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which would have created a tax on Pennsylvania energy and raised electricity bills statewide, violates the Pennsylvania Constitution, announced Sen. Dan Laughlin.
The ruling supports the Senate Republican perspective that RGGI would create a tax, which can only be done by the legislature, not by executive order or regulation. In its ruling, the court said, “Stated simply, to pass constitutional muster, the Commonwealth’s participation in RGGI may only be achieved through legislation duly enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.”
“Access to reliable, affordable energy is the catalyst for economic growth and job creation in Pennsylvania,” said Laughlin, noting the Senate Majority Policy Committee, which he chairs, heard from testifiers early this year that RGGI would negatively impact the state. “With its abundant energy resources, Pennsylvania supplies natural gas, coal and refined petroleum products to the east coast and electricity to the nation. RGGI would have raised the cost of electricity generated by those sources, driven most energy producers out of the state and killed tens of thousands of jobs in vital sectors of our commonwealth’s economy.”
“Instead of RGGI, we need to focus on an plan to help drive investment, employment and growth, with the most effective one being to unleash our state’s energy potential and prioritize the advancement of ‘all the above’ energy policies, including renewables, that create greater energy independence for Pennsylvania,” Laughlin said. “My Senate Republican colleagues and I will continue to concentrate our efforts to ensure there is sufficient power to meet the demands of customers while avoiding risks of blackouts, restrictions on energy usage and increased prices.”
For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Laughlin’s website at www.senatorlaughlin.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @senatorlaughlin.
Contact: David Kozak 717-787-8927