Energy jobs are vital to our economy. Energy independence is a goal we must continue working toward to free ourselves and other nations from dependence on Russian oil and gas. To advance both of these objectives, the PA House approved the Energy Sustainability and Investment Act with strong bipartisan support.

First and foremost, the bill would reassert legislative authority and require the General Assembly’s approval before the Commonwealth can enter multi-state compacts, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), that would increase energy taxes on Pennsylvanians. While all 11 other states enrolled in RGGI are there as a result of a vote by their legislatures, our governor is circumventing that process and ignoring the voices of the citizens we represent.

Pennsylvania is the third-largest electricity generation producer in the country and the largest exporter of electricity. RGGI threatens that status by implementing a tax on energy producers that will raise consumer electric bills by an estimated 30%, according to the Independent Fiscal Office, and lead to thousands of job losses in communities due to plant closures and suspension of new plant construction.

House Bill 637 would protect energy jobs, energy production and energy consumers. It also would make a significant investment in economically and environmentally sound alternative carbon reduction measures. Specifically, the bill would direct $250 million in federal funds to:

• Develop carbon dioxide and methane reduction technologies for electric generation and manufacturing, secure federal funds for a regional hydrogen hub and battery storage, and conduct methane abatement projects from plugging abandoned natural gas wells ($125 million).

• Sewer and water infrastructure and storm water mitigation projects, including riparian planting for carbon dioxide reduction ($62 million).

• Assist workers and communities impacted by electric generation or manufacturing plant closures ($62.5 million).

The bill now awaits approval in the state Senate for consideration.

>> House Passes Legislation to Require Legislative Approval Prior to Entering into Energy Tax Compacts, Leader Benninghoff Says

>> Struzzi Energy Sustainability and Investment Act Advances with Bipartisan Support

Rep. Struzzi on the bill