Harrisburg- Senator Doug Mastriano (PA-33) and Senator Scott Hutchinson (PA-21) announced today that they will soon introduce legislation to stabilize energy costs for Pennsylvanians, protect against economic and international volatility in the long term, and utilize Pennsylvania’s unique natural resources to finally cement the commonwealth as a premier energy powerhouse.
To spur natural gas production and investment, the legislation will focus on tax incentives and opening new state lands for production.
To preserve coal-powered plants, the bill will exempt Pennsylvania plants from the EPA’s Wastewater Rule and Cross State Air Pollution Rule. The misguided Obama-era regulations have been revived by the Biden Administration and are the main culprits for the planned closure of Keystone and Conemaugh plants outside of Pittsburgh. The two plants employ about 320 full-time workers, 170 contractors, and generate enough power for up to 1.5 million homes.
The bill will also establish an “Intrastate Coal/Natural Gas Use” provision to clearly state that any environmental regulation of coal and natural gas that is extracted and used in Pennsylvania can only be exclusively regulated by the Commonwealth, not by the Federal government.
Lastly, the PA Energy Independence Act will make significant reforms to costly regulations, expedite the permit process, and immediately suspend Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI which is projected to raise energy consumer costs by at least $2 billion over nine years and lead to the closure of at least five power plants within a year of entry.
Natural gas and coal combine to account for over 60% of Pennsylvania’s electricity generation.
“Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine, resulting sanctions, and the international effects on energy prices have reminded Americans of the importance of cultivating our own domestic resources,” said Mastriano. “With our abundant resources, Pennsylvania should be largely immune to energy cost volatility. Cumbersome taxes, regulations, and restrictions are handicapping the potential of our energy sector. Many companies simply choose to invest in states that are more energy friendly. Market volatility will not go away anytime soon. It’s time to take steps now to assert energy independence.”
“The terrible attack on Ukraine by Russia and its subsequent disruptions to international energy supply chains reinforces what I and many others have believed for years – that the United States, and Pennsylvania specifically, should make every effort to responsibly tap our domestic resources to reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign energy,” said Senator Scott Hutchinson. “It will be difficult, but through efforts like this one we can work to reverse the dangerous and costly policies of the Biden and Wolf Administrations.”
PA Energy Independence Act: Co-sponsor Memo
Media Contact: Josh Herman (Mastriano)
Justin Leventry (Hutchinson)