Pennsylvania governor to protect climate change strategy with veto

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2020

The bill, backed by blue-collar labor unions, the coal industry and heavy manufacturers, is aimed at the centerpiece of Wolf’s effort, joining a multistate consortium that sets a price and declining caps on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Under the bill, the state government would be unable to “abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions” without lawmakers’ approval in the nation’s fourth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. It would also require six months of public comment and four public hearings on legislation.

It passed the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday, 33-17, two months after it passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Every Republican senator voted with the chamber’s sole independent and four Pittsburgh-area Democrats to approve it.

Wolf’s office said the Department of Environmental Protection is holding meetings with a wide variety of parties as it drafts regulations under the state’s Air Pollution Control Act that it maintains could usher Pennsylvania into the consortium in 2022.

Wolf last fall ordered his administration to start drafting regulations to join the 10-state consortium of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.