HARRISBURG – Legislation ensuring that state residents have options when it comes to fuel availability was overwhelmingly approved today by the state Senate, 40-9, according to prime sponsor Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).
Senate Bill 143, known as “Energy Choice” legislation, would limit municipal entities from banning a specific type of fuel source for appliances and heating homes or businesses. The language is fuel-neutral and is not specific to one energy source.
“It’s about consumer choice and keeping energy costs low,” Senator Yaw said. “As many states seek to ban fuel sources, such as natural gas, Pennsylvania residents have a myriad of energy options to choose from and we should keep it that way.”
Yaw noted that similar laws have been passed in other states, and bills are moving through other statehouses this year.
“It’s unfortunate that this legislation is even necessary in the first place,” Senator Yaw said. “When municipal governments start picking winners and losers, then we have a serious problem.”
“Consumer choice with respect to energy policy has yielded substantial economic and environmental benefits to Pennsylvania,” said Luke Bernstein, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “This legislation continues and extends this successful public policy, ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to affordable, reliable energy. Today’s bipartisan vote shows there is broad-based agreement to this approach. We thank Sen. Yaw and Senate leadership for driving this important issue forward.”
“We are fortunate to have a variety of energy choices, which provide us some of the lowest energy rates in the nation,” said Jeff Nobers, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Works Together, a nonpartisan alliance of labor unions, business and civic leaders working for an all-of-the-above agenda for job creation and balanced policy and regulation. “To allow local governments to restrict that choice would pit municipalities and counties against one another and create an unworkable impact on the energy, utility, and construction industries, and arguably lead to significant cost increases for energy, especially hurting the elderly and low-income residents. This bill passed with bipartisan support last year and we encourage and are hopeful that Governor Shapiro will sign it into law.”
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For more state-related news and information visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.