Jun. 23, 2023

Hold on to your wallets. Higher energy bills are on the way if the Shapiro administration and Democrats in the General Assembly get their way. 

Rates have already been climbing drastically these past few years and now they want to impose a $663 million energy tax on rate payers. This 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.

To protect families from surging energy costs and raise awareness of the hikes, I led the House Republican Policy Committee in a hearing to spotlight the adverse effects associated with the tax. I also took the opportunity to counter the misinformation campaign launched by supporters of the tax.

The energy tax was brought on by the previous administration’s efforts to force the Commonwealth into the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). From the get-go, I and fellow House Republicans have sounded the alarm over the negative impacts it will have on Pennsylvanians. 

However, supporters of the tax falsely claim Pennsylvanians would somehow save money on their rates. Never in the course of history has government imposed a tax that decreased costs for taxpayers. Rather, the Independent Fiscal Office – a nonpartisan agency designed to provide revenue projections and analysis for use in the state budget process – projects the tax would increase electricity rates by nearly four times.

For further evidence, we need only look at Virginia where policymakers are working to withdraw from the RGGI energy tax because of the economic harm it is doing to consumers.

One utility company announced it was issuing ratepayers a surcharge to participate in the initiative and estimated to cost its customers $1 billion to $1.2 billion over the course of four years. Fortunately for customers, the company suspended the charges with the announcement Virginia is pulling out.

Groups here in Pennsylvania have also raised concerns over the jobs that would be lost because of the tax. The union for electrical workers has come out against it in order to save Pennsylvania jobs, noting the tax would lead to the closure of countless energy plants at the cost of thousands of family-sustaining jobs. 

For the sake of all Pennsylvanians, we must follow Virginia’s lead and withdraw from the RGGI energy tax before it is too late. I urge you to stand against this measure by contacting the Shapiro Administration and House Democrat to tell them you don’t want to pay higher energy rates. 

Representative Torren Ecker
193rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
RepEcker.com / Facebook.com/RepTorrenEcker