Senate Poised to Approve a Bill to Protect Energy-Related Jobs



The Senate is poised to pass a bill on Wednesday (June 8) intended to protect family-sustaining Pennsylvania jobs placed at risk by the federal Clean Power Plan, according to Don White (R-41), the prime sponsor of the measure.

Senate Bill 1195, as amended by a 47-3 bipartisan vote on Tuesday, includes provisions addressing Pennsylvania’s compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan. Specifically, the bill provides procedures for the General Assembly’s consideration of the implementation strategy developed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the federal Clean Power Plan before its submission to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

“Senate Bill 1195 is a compromise agreement between the General Assembly and Governor Wolf that provides important safeguards that protect local energy-producing industries and the thousands of workers they employ from overreaching regulations that could come with Pennsylvania’s compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan. The U.S. Supreme Court has suspended the implementation of the Clean Power Plan rules for further discussion and evaluation, so it only makes sense for Pennsylvania to follow that approach,” Senator White said.

“The language in Senate Bill 1195 would allow the General Assembly to give Pennsylvania’s plan thoughtful consideration before it is submitted,” Senator White continued. “It is essential that the Legislature be proactive in protecting our industries.  The state regulations to comply with this federal edict could have a devastating impact on those industries.”

Senator White’s bill is supported by several organized labor groups, including: the AFL-CIO, the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council; the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 (IUOE); the Boilermakers Local 13; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); and, the United Mine Workers of America. (UMWA).

“For decades, the Senate District I represent has been known as ‘Power Alley’ as we are home to three very large coal-fired powers plants, a coal refuse plant and a natural gas plant.  The economic vitality of my region depends on these power-generating facilities and the fuel they consume,” Senator White said. “The global downturn in the energy economy is well known and my District has taken more than its fair share of body blows during this difficult time.

“That’s why SB 1195 is so vitally important,” Senator White continued.  “It sends a message to the hard-working men and women who keep our energy needs met that we, in the General Assembly, will have their backs as these new regulations are developed.”

Senate Bill 1195 is expected to be passed by the Senate on Wednesday and go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Contact:          Joe Pittman