Mensch: Democrats Defeat Republican Attempt to Block Wolf Administration’s 30% Energy Tax

Harrisburg – Republican and Independent members of the state Senate came within one vote of blocking Gov. Tom Wolf’s 30% energy tax Monday, and vowed to continue the battle in court, Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) said today.

“Gov. Wolf committed Pennsylvania to a plan that will send electric bills skyrocketing and destroy jobs, with almost no demonstrable environmental benefit, and did so without the assent of the people’s representatives in the General Assembly,” Mensch said. “By driving up energy costs, every good produced and every citizen will be affected. This was a reckless, short-sighted action that sets a horrible precedent.”

While Republicans and the chamber’s Independent member stood united to override the governor’s veto of the resolution that disapproves of Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Democrats voted against the your wallet as well as our state’s economic interests. To implement RGGI, already a discredited climate policy will spike residential electricity bills 30% and eliminate 22,000 jobs.

Whether you’re a college student, or newlyweds just starting out, or parents with kids in school, who have a mortgage or you are a senior living on a fixed income, your energy costs are destined to increase dramatically and quickly. 

The vote was 32-17, one vote short of the two-thirds needed to override the governor’s veto.

Last week, impartial analysis from the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) concluded RGGI could nearly quadruple new electricity costs for consumers above the administration’s own year-old projections for the program. The IFO also warned members that “those costs would be pushed through to final customers.”

RGGI will increase Pennsylvania energy costs $781 million, cripple Pennsylvania’s economic standing as a leading energy producer and leave the nation more reliant on fossil fuels from hostile nations than ever before – all without ever achieving any of RGGI’s purported air quality improvements, Mensch said.

Multiple independent reports show that emissions from Pennsylvania’s power sector declined at a comparable rate to the other 10 RGGI states over the last decade, further undermining the flimsy justification the administration uses to force this unconstitutional tax onto 13 million residents.

Litigation to stop final implementation of RGGI in Pennsylvania is pending in state court.

“At a time when Pennsylvania families are being crushed by the staggering costs caused by the Biden administration’s runaway inflation, it boggles the mind that Democrats would support a plan to drive up electric bills by 30 percent,” Mensch said. “It’s disheartening that we couldn’t get one more Democrat to do the right thing and block the governor’s disastrous plan.”

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com. State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.

Contact: Lidia Di Fiore ldifiore@pasen.gov (215) 541-2388