Another committee has announced they are not on board with the state joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, better known as RGGI.

On Wednesday, the Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee voted against supporting a proposal for the state Department of Environmental Protection to join RGGI.  This marks the third DEP advisory board to oppose the proposed regulations.  Governor Wolf had issued an executive order last October for the state to join RGGI, saying it would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but opponents say the cap-and-trade program would create a carbon tax on employers engaged in the energy generation in the state and would result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

The vote by the Small Business Compliance Advisory committee was praised by the NFIB, a group of advocates who work on behalf of small and independent business owners, who said that the Governor’s actions do not reflect a representative government.

In a joint statement, State Senator Joe Pittman and State Representative Jim Struzzi both praised the SBCAC for their vote.  Pittman said that the numerous rejections show that “there is no support from any committee or advisory panel for this proposal.”

Struzzi said that with the state already ahead of the carbon dioxide reduction goals established under Wolf’s Climate Action Plan, “why would we want to jeopardize thousands of Pennsylvania jobs and trigger significantly higher electricity rate increases when the existing cooperative market has already achieved these gains.”

Speaking of RGGI, Senator Joe Pittman tells us that he has not heard from Governor Wolf yet on his request to come to talk to people in Armstrong and Indiana Counties to talk about how RGGI would impact people in those counties, and what would be done to replace the lost jobs, rehabilitate the shuttered power plants, and replace the lost revenue to local governments and school districts.

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