Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sen. Stefano Introduces Resolution To Delay PA Clean Power Climate Plan 2 Years

Citing concerns about the potential economic impact on Pennsylvania, Sen. Pat Stefano (R-Fayette) has introduced Senate Resolution 277 (not yet online, text available) urging the Department of Environmental Protection to delay implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection’s Clean Power Climate Rule for two years.
Noting that 27 states have joined a lawsuit seeking to block the federal mandate, Sen. Stefano said Gov. Wolf’s decision to fast-track compliance could have disastrous consequences on Pennsylvania as an exporter of electric power generation, result in job losses, and cripple the state’s economy.
“Until legal challenges to this rule have been decided and a full review of the economic impacts of this rule on Pennsylvania have been completed, I believe it is in the best interest of Pennsylvania to request an extension for submitting a final plan to comply,” Sen. Stefano said. “Through this mandate, the EPA is overstepping its authority as a regulator and instead attempting to force energy policies on states.”
Sen. Stefano’s resolution would also require the Legislative Budget and Finance Agency to conduct a cost compliance study prior to submission of a final implementation plan.
This study would focus on the impacts and costs of the implementation plan on new and existing electric generation units, as well as other components, including reliability, ratepayer impact, feasibility and other factors.
“In my district, which is made up of many coal patch towns, we have seen mines idled, power plants closed and families’ lives completely upended as they lost their family-sustaining jobs in the coal industry,” Sen. Stefano said. “This should serve as a cautionary tale that making rapid changes in energy policy can have far-reaching consequences. My resolution would ensure that decisions which have such a huge and long-term impact on jobs and the economy are made carefully and take into account mitigating factors.”
The text of the resolution is available online.
DEP Secretary John Quigley said DEP is on track to have a draft PA Clean Power Plan available for public comment around Memorial Day with the intent of submitting the final version in September to meet EPA’s initial deadline.
In September, October and November of last year, DEP completed 14 listening sessions around the state seeking ideas on how Pennsylvania should meet the EPA Clean Power Climate Rule.
Resolutions do not have the force of law.  A resolution expresses the will of the Senate.
For more information, visit DEP’s Climate Change webpage.
Related Stories:
EPRI: Least Cost Option For PA To Meet EPA Climate Rule Is Natural Gas

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