Legislative Update: Climate-Related Bills Move in the General Assembly

Senate Votes on HB 2025 – PEC Opposes this Legislation

On September 9th, the Senate voted on House Bill 2025 – legislation that would impede a draft proposal for Pennsylvania to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from the electric generation sector by linking to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. PEC has already outlined its opposition to this legislation, which was considered in the state House earlier this summer. A copy of our most recent letter to the Senate is included below. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk, where it is expected to be vetoed.

While the stated intent of this legislation (along with its Senate companion bill, SB 950) is to give the legislature more involvement in the proposed rulemaking, the fact of the matter is that the General Assembly already has that capability, and to date has made the choice to not take action to address climate change – despite the fact that the majority of Pennsylvanians want them to do so. HB2025 maintains that stasis by allowing the legislature – through mere inaction – to block any proposed rulemaking to address carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.

What makes the Senate’s consideration of HB2025 more disquieting is the fact that bipartisan legislation has already been introduced in the chamber – Senate Bill 15, which PEC supports – that would proactively involve the legislature in setting the framework for addressing emissions of greenhouse gases. But instead of taking up this legislation, Senate leadership has opted to advance a bill that is more oriented toward maintaining the status quo.

House Bill 2856 Introduced – PEC Supports this Legislation

September 9th also saw the introduction of House Bill 2856 (sponsored by Representative Comitta), which is a companion bill to Senate Bill 15. As noted above, PEC supports this legislation. House Bill 2856 would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to develop or link to a market-based program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide in the electric generation sector, and establishes an Energy Transition Fund to guide proceed investments for an array of initiatives to support energy affordability and efficiency, clean energy technologies, and an equitable transition to a decarbonized economy. This legislation has been referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.