Snyder wants more DEP involvement in plant emissions

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State Rep. Pam Snyder announced that she is introducing legislation that would require the state Department of Environmental Protection to submit any plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants to the General Assembly for approval before sending it to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.


“I have been and continue to be very concerned about what is happening in our nation’s capital regarding the heavy-handed regulation of coal-fired electric generation sources,” said Snyder, D-Jefferson. “The EPA may have found a way around Congress to promote this new greenhouse gas rule, but it won’t be able to circumvent the state legislature if my legislation is enacted.”


The legislation would address a June 2 EPA ruling that would require for the first time that carbon dioxide emissions for existing stationary sources – power plants – be reduced.


“A reliable and affordable energy supply is vital to the commonwealth’s economic growth, jobs and the overall interests of its citizens,” Snyder said. “Pennsylvania is a leading producer of electricity and coal, and we cannot allow unelected, unaccountable regulators to be the sole, determining voice in the future of our state.”


Under the EPA rule, each state will be required to meet emission reduction targets by 2030. Each state will be required to submit an implementation plan to EPA for approval once the EPA rule is finalized. Snyder’s legislation would require DEP to develop the plan and submit it to the General Assembly for approval before sending it to EPA.


“The people need to be part of the process,” Snyder said. “The rule could decimate the economy in Fayette, Greene and Washington counties as well as in other areas of the state.


“Pennsylvanians deserve to have their elected officials make such serious determinations, and my legislation would ensure that their voices will be heard,” said Snyder, who began seeking co-sponsors for the legislation Tuesday.


Snyder also recently introduced House Resolution 815, which urges the EPA to respect the primacy of each state in developing final carbon dioxide rules and to allow Pennsylvania regulators to account for the unique policies, energy needs, resource mix and economic priorities of the state.


“My new legislation is an extension of my continuing efforts to protect the hard-working men and women in the power production and coal extraction industries,” she said. “Putting people out of work, unnecessarily driving up electricity costs and destabilizing the electric grid is simply wrong, and I hope my legislation will force a more commonsense, less costly state plan to be produced.”


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