HARRISBURG – House Majority Environmental Resources and Energy (ERE) Committee Chairman Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) issued the following statement today declaring Gov. Tom Wolf’s record on environmental stewardship, and his final $43.7 billion 2022-23 state budget proposal as absolute failures:
“Over the entire seven years of his term, the governor has completely failed in establishing any legitimate legacy or significant legislative achievements.
“Without question, the Wolf regime will be remembered for proposing the largest cradle-to-grave tax increases in Pennsylvania history. We can also never forget this lame duck governor’s incompetent and Orwellian handling of the pandemic that crippled our entire economy by shutting down family-sustaining businesses and resulting in more than 500,000 permanent job losses.
“If somehow implemented, Wolf’s final, fake $43.7 billion state budget plan, according to the Independent Fiscal Office, would plunge Pennsylvania into an unsustainable $800 million deficit in less than one fiscal year.
“As proven once again throughout Monday’s House ERE Committee informational meeting, the governor should spend far less time worrying about cementing his failed legacy as an extreme environmental crusader and more time focusing on cementing abandoned wells and addressing many other serious issues that endanger Pennsylvania’s God-given, abundant bounty of natural resources.
“Perhaps the most substantive and immediate priority put forward during Monday’s meeting was to ensure that Pennsylvania businesses are exclusively being awarded contracts and federal money to plug abandoned wells.
“In fact, I was greatly encouraged when the presenter from Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) brought up the idea of using some of this well plugging revenue as a grant-style program to incentivize independent oil and natural gas producers to plug wells on their own initiative, and then be reimbursed for doing so.
“As Majority Chairman of the House ERE committee, I look forward to following up with the DEP to make sure these well plugging dollars are used in the most efficient way possible.
“Radical environmental progressives, like the governor, talk a lot about overtaxing and overregulating so-called polluting industries out of business, and all the while, their Green New Deal policies make about as much sense as China Joe Biden begging the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to pump more oil when he’s shutting down pipelines across the United States.
“Again, it is incumbent upon the governor to focus less on climate change, sky is falling, burning planet nonsense and prioritize well plugging and other realistic examples of effective environmental stewardship that will actually put Pennsylvanians back to work.”