HARRISBURG – In order to protect families from surging energy costs, House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Joshua D. Kail (R-Beaver/Washington) and Vice Chairman Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) held a hearing today
to spotlight the adverse effects associated with the $663 million energy tax in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s and House Democrats’ budget proposal for the 2023-24 Fiscal Year.
“Pennsylvanians stand to take a massive hit to their wallets if the $663 million energy tax takes effect,” Ecker said. “Rates have already been climbing drastically these past few years and this tax would only further harm consumers. Instead of working to protect consumers, the administration is doing just the opposite by actively working to drive up rates.”
“We must provide hope for all Pennsylvanians by ending the status quo,” said Kail. “The energy tax known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will kill family-sustaining jobs and prosperity, which will lead to more people leaving the Commonwealth. It’s time for the Democrats to end their political charades and join my colleagues and I in boosting our economy and making life more affordable.”
According to the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) – a nonpartisan agency designed to provide revenue projections and analysis for use in the state budget process – the tax would increase electricity rates by nearly four times.
David Taylor, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, said the energy tax only makes sense if its goal is to stifle U.S. energy production, cripple American industry, kill off U.S. jobs and bleed U.S. consumers with higher costs for food, fuel and utilities.
“Pennsylvania is the number one exporter of electricity in America,” said Taylor. “We power the grid. If the RGGI scheme is not thwarted, the new electricity tax will force the immediate closure of our remaining coal-fired electricity plants and older natural gas-fired plants. These facilities represent billions of dollars of critical infrastructure and a significant portion of our generation capacity. If the furnaces at those plants are allowed to cool, they will then warp, crack and shatter, destroying these assets while placing significant strains on our already fragile power grid.”
Greg Moreland, Pennsylvania state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, testified that the energy tax goes against what most Pennsylvanians want.
“This is all maddening for the small business owner,” said Moreland. “Many residents voted for Gov. Shapiro because they found him genuine, moderate in his political beliefs and a man of his word. Forcing the Commonwealth to join a multi-state initiative which will have absolutely no positive impact on the environment, businesses or consumers, and does not protect jobs would seem to fly in the face of his campaign promises, and the principles for which the majority of Pennsylvanians voted for.”
Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives