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Bill Seeking Control over EPA Clean Power Implementation Passes House

The House of Representatives this week passed House Bill 2354 by a vote of 144-59. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene) and Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion) requires the General Assembly to approve the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to implement federal Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas regulations for power plants.

House Bill 2354 would also direct DEP to focus on impacts to consumers and reliability when crafting a plan to carry out EPA’s regulations, which require more than a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses from Pennsylvania power plants by 2030.

“The legislation does not change the proposed federal mandate to cut coal plants’ carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030 but would enlist all stakeholders and consider all strategies as we move forward,” Snyder said. “The state plan would face approvals by the legislature before it can be submitted to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.”

Snyder said cooperation and consensus are much better strategies than assuming that the EPA will do what’s best for Pennsylvania.  “We need to explore all energy sources, technologies and options, including adopting energy efficiency programs, working in tandem with other coal states and employing the best strategies and data available,” Snyder said. “The emission curbs are coming, but Pennsylvania has a responsibility to see that they work and that they work in our best interest.”

Snyder said the state Department of Environmental Protection would be required to hold public hearings across the commonwealth, including at locations that would feel direct, economic impacts from the federal regulations, before submitting a plan to the General Assembly.