Pennsylvania is fortunate to be one of the nation’s leaders in energy production, and with this standing comes hundreds of thousands of jobs that support families and communities throughout the state. Unfortunately, an overly aggressive Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., continues to put these jobs at risk.
The proposed EPA rules recently brought down on states to reduce carbon emissions heavily play into the debates around climate change, but they ignore several key facts that are very important to our state’s economy.
For one, Pennsylvania has already taken great strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its power plants, yielding a 14 percent reduction since 2005. While this has certainly been important for our state, it has also helped our nation lead the world in reduced carbon emissions. No other country has cut carbon more, and we did it without cap and trade.
Levying further regulations on power plants – regulations well above those already in place – creates more risks than benefits. Coupled with our state’s proven efforts to reduce emissions, the fact that Pennsylvania’s wholesale electricity prices continue to fall and unemployment remains at a five-year low shows that we are making great progress – and this without additional federal government intrusion.
Unfortunately, as we pointed out to the EPA at their recent public hearing in Pittsburgh, the new greenhouse gas plan being pushed by the Obama administration is a forced and expensive reconfiguration of the entire grid. Worse, there is no guarantee Pennsylvania will get credit for the steps already taken to cut carbon emissions.
The Keystone State is taking the right steps to balance the needs of the environment and the economy, and our residents are reaping the benefits. Let’s not allow an overly aggressive EPA to tip this balance.
Sunday is the government affairs manager for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.