PA Senator Votes In Another Backroom Deal

SecretImage by Roberto Lee Cortes
Op-Ed by Stephen Wahrhaftig, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Chester County

On July 13, 2021, State Sen. Carolyn Comitta participated via a virtual connection in a meeting of the State Environmental Quality Board of which she is one of four legislators appointed to the board.(1) The remaining members are all non-elected bureaucrats or five members of the citizen advisory council.(1) This was a final rulemaking meeting with no provisions for the public to attend either in person or virtually apparently in violation of the Sunshine law.(2)

The purpose of the meeting was to include Pennsylvania in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.(1) Current member states are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.(3) The scope of RGGI is to regulate CO2 emissions by electricity producers, by the sale of CO2 credits by each member state.(3) The proceeds of the sales are kept by each state to fund energy abatement and bill assistance,(4) with 6% going to administrative costs and almost 2% to fund RGGI.

You might ask how this could be a bad thing?

For one the obvious cost increases will be passed on to the consumers. It will also put control of this issue out of the hands of our elected officials into the hands of more faceless bureaucrats. As the cost of the credits go up and the number of credits is reduced, the operators of electric production will go up. Increasing costs and non-compliance can result in the amount of electricity produced being cut back. Those cutbacks could result in brownouts or worse.

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Now back to our Senator Comitta. This vote was passed by a vote of 15-4. Senator Comitta voted yes along with all the bureaucrats appointed by Governor Wolf.(1) Who were the 4 no votes? Those were cast by Senator Gene Yaw, Representative Daryl Metcalfe and two of the citizen advisory members.(1)

The Libertarian Party of Chester County believes that this dark meeting has circumvented public scrutiny and awards control over Pennsylvania citizens to unelected bureaucrats. The vote should be rescinded in favor of public discourse and decisions should be made primarily by elected leadership. If you agree, please voice your opinion with Senator Comitta voting our local control of such an important issue. Please call her office at 610-692-2112 or write her office at 17 East Gay Street Ste 301, West Chester, PA 19380.

  4. use links to reports

The Libertarian Party of Chester County promotes individual liberty for all residents of Chester County, Pennsylvania. The members are involved in volunteer activities throughout the community, and they work with local governments to ensure that laws and regulations conform to the state constitution. Their monthly meetings are open to the public and are held at Timothy’s Restaurant in West Chester PA.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.