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Corbett Signs Bill Giving Legislature Oversight of State’s Clean Power Plan

After some jockeying in the Senate to add and then remove amendments to the controversial bill, the legislature ultimately approved HB 2354, sponsored by Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene) that requires legislative approval of the state’s Clean Power Plan before submission to the Environmental Protection Agency for review and approval.  Governor Corbett signed the legislation, which is now Act 175 of 2014.
Under the EPA’s proposed rule, the state must cut its carbon emissions by 32 percent over the next 15 years. This means big changes for how the state produces energy and has rattled many coal-county legislators.
Several House and Senate Democrats, as well as environmental advocates, had two major complaints with the bill: that the legislature is not equipped to properly assess the merits of an environmental plan; and that their involvement will over politicize the issue adding extra bureaucratic hurdles.
If the EPA does not accept a state’s plan, or if a state fails to submit a plan, the EPA reserves the right to create a plan for that state.