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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 11, 2022 10:10 AM
From: Senator Doug Mastriano and Sen. Scott E. Hutchinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: PA Energy Independence Act
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation to stabilize energy costs for Pennsylvanians and protect against economic and international volatility in the long term.

Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine has been fueled in large part by new oil and gas revenue that went into the coffers of the Russian government, allowing them to spend it on weapons and other military equipment over several years. The war, sanctions, and the international effects on energy prices have reminded us of the importance of cultivating our own domestic resources.

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 more energy friendly states like Texas and West Virginia.

To make matters worse, Pennsylvania will soon enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative which is projected to raise energy consumer costs by $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 currently account for over 60% of Pennsylvania’s electricity generation.
We are proposing the “PA Energy Independence Act” to utilize our unique natural resources and finally cement Pennsylvania as a premier energy powerhouse. Our legislation will do the following to invite new investment for natural gas extraction and preserve current power plants:

Natural Gas and Drilling
  • Immediate suspension of the Corporate Net Income Tax and Personal Income Tax for natural gas producers
  • Reduce DEP’s gas permit fees to pre-2020 levels (200% cut from current fees)
  • End the moratorium on new leases on state lands by directing DCNR to initiate an approval process for new leasing opportunities
Coal-Powered Plants

  • Exempt Pennsylvania from plant-closing EPA regulations such as the Wastewater Rule and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule
  • Intrastate Coal/Natural Gas Use Provision: establish a 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.
Regulations and Permits

  • Require a report from DEP to the General Assembly on all current rules and regulations affecting the natural gas and coal industries and the respective economic impact
  • Require legislative approval for any new regulations affecting the natural gas and coal industries
  • Improve transparency in the permit review process and expedite approvals
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

  • Immediate suspension of Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI
Revenue generated by additional companies who choose to invest in Pennsylvania ultimately helps our state to fund other parts of the budget and eventually cut taxes.

Market volatility will not go away anytime soon. There will always be more supply chain descriptions, fluctuations, and international conflicts in the future. The people of our commonwealth should not be subject to fluctuating energy and fuel costs. We can take steps now to assert future energy independence.

Please join us as a co-sponsor. 

Introduced as SB1219