Pittsburgh – Yesterday Governor Corbett signed House Bill 2354 – the Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act – into law as Act 175 of 2014. Act 175 grants either chamber of the General Assembly unparalleled authority to veto any plan developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Department), pursuant to Federal Clean Air Act requirements, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
“Pennsylvania is a leading contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, and our focus should be on advancing solutions towards reducing those emissions from all sources and sectors across the Commonwealth,“ said Davitt Woodwell, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC). “Instead, our state seems more intent on stalling and second guessing any progress, irrespective of the weight of analysis and public engagement that has informed such efforts.”
Act 175 fails to provide any substantive criteria for the General Assembly’s review or approval of an emissions reduction plan submitted by the Department.
“Despite passing the bipartisan Pennsylvania Climate Change Act in 2008 – influenced in no small part by PEC’s own Climate Change Roadmap (released in 2007) – Pennsylvania has failed to advance any meaningful or comprehensive strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions” said Woodwell. “Six years later, Harrisburg is no further along in addressing an issue that has unprecedented environmental, economic, and public health ramifications for our state. Act 175 presents no solutions, it only serves to prolong the challenges facing all of us.”