A group of lawmakers from Western Pennsylvania is challenging Gov. Tom Wolf’s effort to make Pennsylvania a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), saying the resulting carbon tax will hurt the state’s energy sector and consumers.
The legislators said Tuesday that Wolf does not have the authority to pursue RGGI membership unilaterally and must consult with the General Assembly.
“He does not have the authority to tax. It’s very basic,” said state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
The lawmakers plan to introduce House Bill 2025 and Senate Bill 950, both of which would require legislative approval of Wolf’s October executive order instructing the state Department of Environmental Protection to join the RGGI.
“This unilateral attempt by the governor simply should not occur,” said state Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana. “We seek to ensure that our constitutional separation of powers remains intact.”