Phone: 814-535-7655
ACTION NEEDED ON MAY 19, 2020 FROM LOCAL 459 MEMBERS
Updated On: May 13, 2020

IMPORTANT: ACTION NEEDED FROM LOCAL 459 MEMBERS - STEP 2 OF 4 TO STOP RGGI

WHAT:  The Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) will meet to consider, among other items, the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) draft RGGI regulation.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 19, 2020.  Public comment begins around 1:00. CAC will consider and vote on RGGI sometime between 1:30 and 2:30.

              Background: Governor Wolf directed the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop and implement the RGGI regulations.  Those who will be most affected by the closure of our power plants, (labor, employers, communities, local taxing districts, etc.) need to use any means possible to voice our concerns and send a message to Governor Wolf that RGGI is not good for PA!

              The success of the May 7, 2020 comment session during the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAC) meeting, where many Local 459 members provided the committee with some very useful information that was used to make their decision NOT to recommend RGGI for PA. This was a huge victory in a much bigger battle to stop Governor Wolf’s executive order to include PA in RGGI.

We need to repeat the AQTAC call in effort once more for the CAC meeting for a chance to stop RGGI

              Our next opportunity is the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting.  We must replicate the success from the May 7, 2020 AQTAC meeting and inform the CAC committee of the shortfalls of Governor Wolf’s RGGI plan. Our goal is for the Citizens Advisory Committee to also vote NO to RGGI.

              Below are our major concerns that the DEP’s computerized modeling suggests will be the consequences of RGGI once it begins on January 1, 2022. (Suggestions for public comment talking points)

1.     The DEP’s model, which has been in development for many months, is already obsolete as a result of the COVID economic crisis.

2.     RGGI will trigger the near IMMEDIATE (and certainly premature) closure of every coal and many less efficient gas plants in PA.

3.     There is no ‘JUST’ transition plan for workers and communities to recover after the job loss and negative economic effect on communities from Governor Wolf’s executive RGGI order.

4.     DEP’s model failed to consider any of the economic fallout associated with these plant closures, which we know will be severe and will extend beyond direct workers and plants, to include supply chain, contract jobs, school districts and local governments.

5.     DEP’s model supports that, across PJM, CO2 reductions will be minimal as a result of increased power production from non-RGGI states, like Ohio.

6.     The only “public outreach” to date has been limited to its advisory committees.

We strongly urge the Citizens Advisory Committee to follow the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee’s lead and reject DEP’s draft RGGI regulation!

ACTION REQUESTED - Sign up for the conference call meeting AND request for public comment (two-step process)

1.     Register before May 19, 2020 for the CAC meeting - LINK

         2.    Contact Keith Salador, ksalador@pa.gov or 717-787-8171 and simply indicate you are a “concerned citizen and would like to provide comments at the CAC May 19, 2020 meeting.”

 

Other talking Points for Local 459 members who work at plants

·        I work at (Keystone/Conemaugh/Homer City/Shawville) and live in (Indiana/Armstrong/Etc.) County. I appreciate the opportunity to offer public comment. When Governor Wolf promised a “robust public outreach” for the development of the RGGI regulation, I don’t think this is what he had in mind.

·        I urge this Committee, as well as the Governor and our elected state representatives, to stop the Department of Environmental Protection from moving forward with the RGGI regulation.

·        I accept that the coal fired generation plants might not be around in 10 years, but RGGI would impose a plant-killing tax on my place of employment and, according to both my employer and my union, it will force the near immediate elimination of my job and thousands of others.

·        Our regional economy was struggling even before the impacts from the COVID pandemic. Over the past two months, things are much, much worse. Industries have shut down. IUP has even shut down. And the unemployment rate is at historic highs.

·        Now is not the time to inflict further pain on our economy. The DEP will only make matters much, much worse for us if it does not pull the plug on RGGI.

·        Even DEP’s own modeling proves this point by suggesting that 90 percent of all coal generation is likely to disappear in year one of RGGI. Our local governments and school districts will lose $3 million in local taxes. Consumer electricity rates will increase. And the community in which I am raising my family will be devastated.

·        And for what? Will there be fewer floods in Pennsylvania 10 years from now if PA joins RGGI? I suspect not. Will it be a couple degrees cooler in PA if PA joins RGGI. I suspect not.

We strongly urge the Citizens Advisory Committee to follow the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee’s lead and reject DEP’s draft RGGI regulation!

 


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Contact Info
IBEW Local 459
408 Broad St
Johnstown, PA 15906
  814-535-7655

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