Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
[Editor’s Note: Tom Wolf has his nose up in the air again as tells Pennsylvanians RGGI and a 50% increase in electric rates will be good for them!]
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) continue to push a plan that will raise Pennsylvania residents’ electric rates by 50% or more, a carbon tax plan called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The DEP will conduct 10 three-hour virtual public hearings between Dec. 8 and 14. There will be no in-person hearings due to concerns over COVID-19.
Wolf is attempting to force PA to participate in RGGI, a collection of blue northeastern states (New England, NY and NJ) in an attempt to bolster his credibility with environmentalist wackos.
RGGI is a carbon tax scheme that will force coal and natural gas-fired power plants to pay obscenely high taxes because they emit carbon dioxide (CO2), the same exact compound you breathe out with every breath you take. Somehow CO2 has been reclassified as a pollutant. What’s next, oxygen? Be sure to hold your breath, you’re polluting the planet. The entire notion that CO2 is “pollution” is silly and asinine and nothing more than a hoax, a trick to get you to turn over control of your life (via your energy choices) to the left. There is no scientific evidence that more CO2 in the atmosphere is causing catastrophic weather or a threatening rise in average temperatures.
But we digress. If a majority of Pennsylvanians want to foolishly pay 50% more for their electricity by joining this group, who are we to disagree? Wolf’s own estimates show the taxes raised will be around $2.36 billion over the next decade. Pennsylvania energy consumers would have to pay this additional cost through their electricity bills.
The problem is, Wolf is bypassing the people, who are represented by their legislators in the House and Senate. All of the other states that previously joined RGGI did so via approval from the state legislature. No other governor, not even Lord Cuomo, tried to force their states to join RGGI without the approval of the state legislature. Wolf is attempting a coup.
Republicans in the PA legislature are fighting Wolf, saying he doesn’t have dictatorial powers to force the state to join RGGI. Given the sad state of our court system, who knows? Maybe they’ll let Wolf ignore the will of the voters. Wouldn’t be the first time.
PA DEP Secretary Pat McDonnell prattled on about global warming as the reason to push RGGI:
“The impacts of climate change have had and will continue to have a dramatic effect on Pennsylvania communities and economies,” said Patrick McDonnell, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and Chair of the EQB. “We believe our participation in RGGI will help protect residents and future generations from the negative impacts of climate change.”
Earth to Pat: Making Pennsylvanians pay another $2.36 billion won’t do a damn thing to lower CO2 emissions around the planet. From DEP:
The public comment period to weigh in on Gov. Tom Wolf’s carbon-cutting plan for power plants will be open this weekend through Jan. 14, Pennsylvania environmental regulators announced Friday.
There will be 10 three-hour virtual public hearings in morning, afternoon and evening sessions between Dec. 8 and 14. There will be no in-person hearings, as some opponents of the rule had wanted, to avoid large gatherings that could spread COVID-19.
The proposal is meant to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants by ratcheting down total emissions across the sector through 2030 and making power plants pay for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit.
The rules create a framework for Pennsylvania to join other states in a shared carbon cap and market in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative beginning in 2022.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection estimates power plant owners will pay $2.3 billion between 2022 and 2030 for emissions allowances. Those funds will be invested in state programs meant to reduce air pollution, like energy efficiency retrofits, electric car infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
DEP expects the program will keep 188 million short tons of CO2 from being emitted in Pennsylvania over the next decade and will have a health benefit worth $6.3 billion through 2030 by reducing respiratory illnesses caused by other air pollutants that will also decline.
The proposal is a key part of the Wolf administration’s plan to address the causes and impacts of climate change, which “have had and will continue to have a dramatic effect on Pennsylvania communities and economies,” DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said.
The plan is divisive because it is expected to hasten the closure of Pennsylvania’s remaining coal-fired power plants and make its natural gas-fired plants marginally less competitive with fossil fuel plants in neighboring states, like Ohio and West Virginia, that do not put a price on carbon emissions. It is expected to buttress Pennsylvania’s zero-emitting power sources, such as nuclear, solar and wind.
In the short term, DEP expects the plan to raise residential electricity prices by $1.46 to $2.05 per month before saving consumers money on their electricity bills by the end of the decade.
Mr. Wolf vetoed a bill in September that would have blocked environmental regulators from taking any action to limit carbon dioxide emissions without legislative approval. It was supported by the Republican-led Legislature as well as more than a dozen Democrats from Western Pennsylvania.
Comments can be submitted online at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment. To reserve a time to testify at a hearing, call 717-783-8727 or email .
If you want to know why RGGI is 100% wrong for PA, watch this video:
This post appeared first on Natural Gas Now.