Above, from left, Ted Harris, Executive Vice President, Pennsylvania Petroleum Association; Michael Hinds, Vice President, Hinds Oil, Montrose; Senator Yaw; John Kulik, Director, Government Affairs, Pennsylvania Petroleum Association; and EJ Flynn, Owner and Founder of Flynn Energy and Propane, Towanda, discuss the value of energy production to Pennsylvania.
State Sen. Gene Yaw (23rd District), chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, visited Flynn Energy in Towanda recently for a tour and roundtable discussion with local business leaders to discuss how changes to the energy industry will have a local impact.
“Our region’s leading natural gas production has created thousands of jobs, including right here in Bradford and Susquehanna counties,” Yaw said. “It continues to deliver home energy savings for consumers and provides a clean energy source to better the environment. We must ensure that continues.”
Numerous actions at the state and federal level, however, threaten Pennsylvania’s energy independence, Yaw said, including the forced electrification of homes and businesses through stringent building codes that ban energy choice and costly government subsidies meant to suppress fossil fuel use.
Yaw said his legislation, Senate Bill 275, would prevent these disastrous policies from unfolding across Pennsylvania’s 2,500-plus municipalities.
“It’s a ‘fuel neutral’ proposal that ensures no choice, including renewable energy, is discriminated against,” Yaw said. “Unfortunately, environmental lobbyists convinced the governor to veto the bill, which sends the message loud and clear to consumers that the government thinks it knows better.”
Torpedoing the bill makes little sense, Yaw said, considering historic inflationary pressures and skyrocketing utility costs that have already pushed many families to a breaking point.
“Policies limiting the use of certain fuel sources only slows environmental progress and raises energy costs,” Yaw said. “This veto will hurt the most vulnerable among us the hardest at a time when they can least afford it.”
Yaw also provided an update on Pennsylvania’s impending entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program that uses carbon taxes to artificially limit emissions from the power sector. Eleven other states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions participate already, though none joined without the permission of their respective legislatures – as would be the case for Pennsylvania.
“Commonwealth Court was prudent to press pause on RGGI, given the administration’s gross underestimations of how much it will inflate energy costs for all Pennsylvanians,” Yaw said. “We need to pursue climate solutions that encourage collaboration with our energy sector, not regressive and unconstitutional taxes meant to destroy it and leave us reliant on foreign oil and gas for decades to come.”
During the visit, Yaw also said that Pennsylvania need only look at Europe to see what could happen here at home.
“We can’t make the same mistakes,” Yaw said. “Europe started shutting down coal plants and nuclear plants, further creating a dependence on Russian oil and gas.”
Last year, Pennsylvania alone produced one-fifth of the United States’ 32.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas yield. Russia’s production trailed far behind, totaling roughly 22.5 million cubic feet.
Yes, Pennsylvania – standing alone – produced one-third as much natural gas as the entire country of Russia. In fact, two Pennsylvania counties, Bradford and Susquehanna, together produced more natural gas than was produced in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pennsylvania is a significant player in the global energy market. Maximizing this power benefits us all.