Pennsylvania lawmakers react to Governor Shapiro’s new energy proposal

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)– Lawmakers returned to Harrisburg on Monday for the first time in months and job one for Republicans; pull the plug on the Governor’s new energy plan proposal.

“I’ve put forth a plan where we can do something, create jobs be more competitive protect our planet,” Governor Josh Shapiro said last week.

The governor, energetically, pitched his energy plan.

“Now is the time for real action if we want to reduce pollution doing nothing is not an option,” Shapiro said.

The Governor’s plan would tax the pollution created by energy producers and use the money to give rebates on electric bills to residents and incentivize the use of cleaner technologies. Shapiro insists it will create jobs, lower utility bills, and be environmentally friendly.

It is not Republican-friendly.

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“I can say with confidence that this proposal, as written, is dead on arrival,” State Rep. Tim O’Neil (R-Washington) said. “Governor Shapiro’s energy policy is nothing but a government money grab and a direct attack on job creators and workers across Pennsylvania.”

Resulting in higher electric bills, a less reliable power grid, and a just-as-dirty planet, according to Republicans.

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“We’re telling our manufacturers the cleanest manufacturers in the world, that they have to pay more while manufacturers in China that burn coal with absolutely no regulation can keep doing it,” State Rep. Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington) said.

“So I actually think we disagree with that,” State Rep. Dave Madsen (D-Dauphin) said.

House Democrat Madsen says the climate is a crisis and comes with a cost.

“It is here,” Madsen said. “Millions and billions of property are damaged every year due to extreme weather. The science is clear that we have to do something to figure it out.”

Something? Perhaps. Shapiro’s something, no way, Republicans say.

“His plan may be seen as very clever, but to those who actually understand energy policy and work in this world, it is really too clever by half,” State Rep. Bryan Cutler (R) said.

“There will be some folks who think this plan to big and too bold who are used to doing nothing you know what now’s the time for big and bold now’s the time to lead again in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said.

You can now add energy, along with public school funding and higher education funding, to the list of big-ticket items with a big fight looming in Harrisburg.

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