Cutler Asks Governor to Endorse Bill That Involves Legislature in Creating Environmental Policy
10/17/2014
HARRISBURG – Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) is calling on the governor to sign into law House Bill 2354, which was approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The bill would allow the Pennsylvania General Assembly to be involved with environmental policy regarding carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
 
“Too often the federal government makes environmental policy decisions in a vacuum. Decisions are made without taking into consideration the reliability of the electrical grid or the ultimate costs for ratepayers,” Cutler said. “As we saw this past January—when electricity prices spiked to nearly four times their normal cost—our electric and environmental policies have a real and substantial impact on ratepayers.”
 
Under federal regulations, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to develop and submit to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a state plan for compliance with the requirements of the EPA’s regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. That plan would be formulated through public input and at least four public hearings to be conducted across the Commonwealth.
 
Under House Bill 2354, DEP must then submit the plan to the General Assembly for approval, which could force DEP to make modifications and resubmit it.
 
“House Bill 2354 would ensure that all of us as ratepayers, employees and companies in the electric industry have a voice, both in the process and in protecting the environment,” said Cutler.
 
The bill requires compliance measures with the current regulations to be rated on a least-cost basis. It does not alter current emissions reductions requirements, but ensures that all factors are considered.
 
“We’re under a federal mandate to cut coal plants’ carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030,” Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Fayette/Greene/Washington), author of the bill, said. “However, we can meet that mandate while still protecting jobs, pocketbooks and power supplies by insisting on a process that includes all stakeholders and viewpoints.”
 
“As someone who had the privilege of working on the bill with Representative Snyder and the stakeholders, I fully support the Legislature having a say in this important matter,” added Cutler.
 
Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206
aevans@pahousegop.com
RepCutler.com / Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler
Twitter.com/RepBryanCutler
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