HARRISBURG – House Environmental Resources and Energy (ERE) Committee Majority Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) sent the following letter to PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell urging the postponement of the upcoming July 13 Environmental Quality Board (EQB) voting meeting to further advance the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
“Dear Secretary McDonnell,
“I write you today to state my serious concerns with the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) decision to move forward in bringing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) regulation before the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) on July 13th. I request that you remove the regulation from this meeting’s agenda and, at the very least, postpone consideration until the EQB’s September meeting.
“As is par for the course with how you have pursued joining RGGI, you have selected the perfect month to hold a meeting to ensure a lack of transparency and the least amount of engagement with the public and General Assembly. The General Assembly has just concluded the budget process and will not be in session for the rest of the summer. As you know, the committees and the General Assembly have a role in the regulatory review process and statutory deadlines to take certain actions under our Regulatory Review Act.
“This process, which it appears that you are intentionally aiming to avoid, is made more challenging when the General Assembly is not in session. In addition, members of the public who may want to follow and engage with the meetings of the EQB and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission may be less likely to do so during the summer months when many families have planned vacations.
“Unfortunately, your actions are not at all surprising, as you similarly chose to move forward with the regulation at the proposed stage at a time where you only offered virtual public hearings, instead of having the in-person hearings in impacted communities that you were statutorily required to hold.
“Why are you so afraid of engaging with the public and the General Assembly about RGGI? Could it be because you know that this job-killing regulation is deeply unpopular throughout Pennsylvania?
“It is unacceptable to move forward with an EQB meeting this month on this regulation which will have such severe consequences for Pennsylvania’s energy economy. The partisan nature with which you are attempting to enact this regulation, which will actively harm businesses and individuals throughout the Commonwealth, is not what our citizens deserve. Particularly as Pennsylvania is attempting to recover from the economic turmoil created by the COVID-19 outbreak, this is the exact time when we can least afford RGGI.
“While you should permanently abandon plans to bring RGGI to the EQB, I request that you at least remove RGGI from the July 13th agenda and do not call it back up until the September meeting at the earliest to allow for full engagement in the regulatory process. Please rest assured though that even if you do proceed in July, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the General Assembly will fulfill our obligation to disapprove of this illegal and unconstitutional regulation.”
Representative Daryl Metcalfe
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin