Pennsylvania Lawmakers Resist Governor’s Executive Actions on Climate Change


If Pennsylvania joins a multistate agreement that restricts carbon dioxide emissions, the commonwealth could jeopardize its position as an energy producer and exporter without achieving discernible environmental benefits, according to elected officials who are resisting executive actions to address climate change.

The state Senate on Wednesday passed legislation to prohibit Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and imposing carbon taxes without the approval of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

A state Senate committee last week voted to move to the floor two bills that reaffirm the General Assembly’s authority over tax policy while asserting that Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection cannot act unilaterally “to abate, control, or limit carbon dioxide emissions by imposing a revenue-generating tax or fee on carbon emissions.”

The Senate passed the House version of the legislation Wednesday by a vote of 33-17, one vote shy of a veto-proof majority.

“I don’t think the governor has the legal authority to proceed as he is,” said state Sen. Joe Pittman, a Republican representing the 41st District, which cuts across Armstrong, Butler, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

“At the end of the day, we are not an appendage of the governor’s office, we …read more