With House Democrats seeking to advance another shortsighted attempt to torpedo the state’s energy industry, the House Republican Policy Committee, led by Chairman Joshua D. Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), convened a hearing Monday titled “Stopping Economic Disaster: The Democrats and their Green New Deal.”
“The Democrats’ energy agenda is downright dangerous,” Kail said. “If these policies are allowed to advance and become law, all Pennsylvanians will suffer with higher electric bills, lost jobs, threats to national security and harm to the environment. These policies take us in the WRONG direction.”
Earlier Monday, the House Environmental Resources and Energy (ERE) Committee held a hearing on House Bill 170
, which would increase setbacks for unconventional wells to a point that it would effectively create a moratorium on new well development.
“This is another not-so-veiled attempt to shut down our state’s energy industry to the detriment of every person,” said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), chairman of the ERE Committee, said of the bill. “We have abundant natural resources, a superior workforce and enhanced technology to continue growing our energy industry. We absolutely must reject destructive and burdensome regulations that would irresponsibly and unnecessarily halt future growth and opportunity.”
Kail noted House Bill 170 is just the latest in a series of Democrat bills that would harm the Commonwealth and its residents. They include increased conventional well bonding, that would unnecessarily punish an industry that is actively working to clean the environment; alternative energy portfolio standards, which would increase energy costs for all Pennsylvanians while also subsidizing China; so-called “environmental justice” in permitting, a process that is already broken; zero-emission standards for space and water heaters, making home appliances more expensive; creating a new greenhouse gas tax on manufacturers; and transitioning to electric school buses, which would force school districts to adopt doubly expensive, high maintenance, and unreliable electric buses. The state continues to lose billions of dollars in new investment opportunities as a result of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s continued implementation of an energy tax known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
During the hearing, the committee took testimony from Jim Welty, vice president of government affairs for the Marcellus Shale Coalition; Michael Ford, secretary-treasurer of the PA Building and Construction Trades Council; and David Taylor, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. The testifiers were united in their opposition to House Bill 170 and other policies like it that fail to recognize the broad impacts of natural gas in people’s everyday lives.
Welty highlighted the environmental benefits that have been created through the growing use of natural gas, as well as how important it is to stabilizing the electric grid and protecting national security.
Ford highlighted the value of the natural gas industry in providing quality jobs to members of the building and construction trades and the economic benefits that provides. It is unlikely those workers could find comparable jobs in the Commonwealth if the natural gas industry would be shut down through Democrats’ anti-energy policies.
Taylor emphasized the role natural gas plays in every aspect of manufacturing. To those who advocate for the use of alternative energies such as wind and solar rather than fossil fuels, he noted solar panels and windmills cannot be made or maintained without the use of natural gas.
“This should not be a partisan issue. Natural gas and other fossil fuels touch every aspect of our lives every single day,” Kail said. “Today’s hearing makes it clear once again that we must work to enact policies that unleash the potential of our energy industry for the sake of the Commonwealth and the nation.”
Video of the hearing is available here.
Representative Joshua Kail
15th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple