HARRISBURG – Having already authored bipartisan legislation that would require the General Assembly to approve of Pennsylvania being enrolled in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, (RGGI), state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) has successfully amended his own House Bill 637 to further address the Commonwealth’s energy needs.
Struzzi issued the following statement after his amended bill was passed by the House Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote:
“Part of my original intent with House Bill 637
was to recognize RGGI’s threat to a diversified energy portfolio. I’ve now crafted an amendment that makes a good bill better through creation of the Energy Sustainability and Investment Act. In addition to addressing RGGI’s damaging impact on Pennsylvanians, my legislation recognizes the need for investment in the future of areas like Indiana County that are feeling the effects of market-driven pressures on fossil-fuel based energy.
“House Bill 637 as amended would still protect the jobs created by existing energy producers and require RGGI to face a vote by the General Assembly. It now calls for a significant state investment in alternative carbon reduction measures that would take steps toward a future that is both economically and environmentally sound. The Energy Sustainability and Investment Act would access $250 million from the COVID-19 Response Restricted Account for the following uses:
• $125,000,000 for development of carbon dioxide and methane reduction technologies for
electric generation and manufacturing, securing federal funds for a regional hydrogen hub
and battery storage and methane abatement projects from plugging abandoned natural gas wells.
• $62,500,000 for sewer and water infrastructure and storm water mitigation projects, including riparian planting for carbon dioxide reduction.
• $62,500,000 for assisting workers and communities impacted by electric generation or manufacturing plant closures.
“House Bill 637 now encourages further exploration and diversification of our future energy needs. It answers questions about how we make reasonable changes that protect both our local economies and our environment.
“Nationally, Pennsylvania is the third-largest electricity generation producer and the largest exporter of electricity. Our goal should be to maintain that prominent position. In doing so, preparing for Pennsylvania’s future energy is a two-fold process. It requires not only anticipating and developing technologies that will be available, but also accounting for existing energy sources that must be part of our economy. House Bill 637 does that.”
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5937 (cell)