Harrisburg- Senator Mastriano (PA-33) provided the following statement after voting to override Governor Wolf’s veto of a Resolution that would have disapproved his carbon tax on Pennsylvanians:
“Pennsylvania is an energy powerhouse, but we have the potential to be so much more. We are the nation’s number 3 energy producer, number 3 coal producer, and the number 2 natural gas provider. Not only do we meet our own energy needs, but we also meet the needs of other states who depend on us to keep their own energy grid up and running.
“The carbon tax imposed by RGGI will result in immediate job loss across our energy sector. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, all 5-remaining coal-fired electricity plants will be shuttered within a year of enactment. Not only will those workers be out of the job, but so will many of those in the coal production business which feeds into these power plants.
“Immediate job loss will not be the only negative impact of RGGI. Like all taxes, the carbon tax will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity rates. As we heard in Senate testimony last week, the Independent Fiscal Office projects consumer energy prices will nearly quadruple. Energy costs in the U.S are already up exponentially compared to last year. Inflation in the economy and now a war in Europe has compounded the struggles of lower and middle-class families. We cannot afford to make high energy costs permanent by entering RGGI.
“Lastly, we must examine the context of RGGI in today’s national security circumstances. Oil and gas revenue into the coffers of the Russian government allows them to spend it on weapons and other military equipment. America has indirectly poured billions into Putin’s war chest. A perfect example of this occurred in 2016 during a particularly long cold snap in Boston, Massachusetts. Running out of fuel for energy and desperate for a source, Boston did not turn to Pennsylvania for its natural gas. Instead, they turned to RUSSIA!
“One thing is for sure. RGGI will do far more harm than good for Pennsylvanians when you consider the spike in prices to consumers, the job loss in our vulnerable communities, and the foreign policy implications.”
The veto override fell short by one vote with nearly every Democrat voting to raise future utility bills for Pennsylvanians.