Pennsylvania Governor’s Climate Regulations Draw Bipartisan Opposition as Hearings Begin


Other elected officials in Pennsylvania continue to question the constitutionality of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed carbon tax in the run-up to 10 public hearings that begin Tuesday on the disputed regulations to address climate change.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board has approved a “cap and trade” plan to cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The plan, which the board OK’d in mid-September, would require power plants to obtain carbon dioxide allowances equal to the amount of the greenhouse gas they emit. Electric utilities that emit more than their assigned cap would have to purchase allowances at an auction to offset the excess.

Elected officials in both parties, however, say that Wolf is circumventing the Pennsylvania General Assembly in an effort to impose taxes that only the state lawmakers can approve or reject.

“I think we’ve kind of exhausted our options legislatively,” state Rep. James Struzzi, a Republican, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “I think this will come down to the courts.”

Wolf’s secretary of environmental protection, Patrick McDonnell, is chairman of the 20-member Environmental Quality Board. With representatives from 11 state agencies, the board is charged with adopting the Department of Environmental Protection’s regulations.

Wolf, a Democrat, …read more