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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 24, 2015 05:16 PM
From: Representative Brandon P. Neuman
To: All House members
Subject: Cosponsorship – Joint Select Committee on Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation
As you very aware, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed the first ever regulation of carbon dioxide emissions for existing stationary sources (power plants) last year. Under the preliminary EPA rule, Pennsylvania is given an incredibly aggressive emissions target to meet by 2030. Fortunately we will be able to write our own implementation plan on how best to meet those reductions. EPA’s rule gives us some flexibility, which is important if we are to preserve the economic drivers of our Commonwealth, including our many industries as well as the overall cost to live and do business here.

Act 175 of last session preserves DEP’s primary role in the development of the State plan and sets forth priorities for the department to consider, such as cost of compliance and impact to the diversity of the generation fleet and then directly engages the State legislature in the approval of the State plan.

However, no one standing committee of the Senate or House of Representatives is best positioned to consider all the interrelated issues involved in this rule or the mandate established in Act 175, including the impact to the various sectors of the electric power generation industry, the impact to consumers of electricity, the impact to the public health, the environmental impact to air quality and the impact to Pennsylvania’s overall economy.

Therefore, I will be introducing a resolution establishing a Joint Select Committee bipartisan bicameral committee to do an investigation of the rules and make a report to the House and Senate and our Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”), outlining the most appropriate manner in which to comply with the federal greenhouse gas rule.

The Joint Select Committee would convene hearings, take testimony, perform an investigation and make recommendations, through the issuance of a report to the House, Senate and DEP detailing how the Commonwealth can comply with the new carbon rules based on a least-cost compliance approach.

Establishing a Joint Select Committee to oversee the development of the GHG compliance State Plan is necessary to preserve our right and responsibility as elected officials to protect our constituencies.

Introduced as HR259