What, on earth, is this PACER coming out of the PA state government? 

March 14 — Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is proposing the Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction (PACER) Act to allow the state to determine its own cap on carbon emissions. 

Shapiro is claiming this will provide PA residents a rebate on their electric bills and generate more than $5 billion in investment in clean, reliable energy sources. 

This all came from a working group that was looking into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which Governor Tom Wolf brought PA into a few years ago. RGGI is a mandatory program in which participating states would impose a carbon fee on electricity production and require fossil fuel generation to purchase allowances in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

The PACER Act is Shapiro’s answer to RGGI. 

If the act is passed, PA would leave RGGI. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I don’t think it’s going to get through the General Assembly for one thing. This is very novel and I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. We would be the first state in the country to do just this kind of a standalone cap and trade program when it comes to energy. So getting out of RGGI, that’s a good thing. We know there’s been a lot of criticism about that. Shapiro has signaled over the years he’s not crazy about Reggie, but then to get out of it and go into our own program, there’s the problem.” 

One major question is — would this be legal? 

Barkdoll asked, “Could the state craft a cap and trade program on carbon emissions that would still comply with federal guidelines? What will the cost of it be? If you’re the energy company, what are you going to have to pay? Shapiro claims that this program would actually reduce electric bills for consumers in Pennsylvania, but presumably the power companies around the state would be paying fairly significant fees as part of this program.”

Pennsylvania is number two in the country when it comes to energy production. 

Barkdoll said, “This is a huge part of the Pennsylvania economy and the national economy for that matter. So I don’t see this going anywhere in the General Assembly, but he may have some ideas that could become some horse trading, even in the context of the budget to try to get a program like this through?

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “Can we stop it with the Overton Window nonsense here. This is where you pretend like you’re moving in a certain direction just to try to get as much of the policies you want done as possible and pretend like you’re actually making some kind of negotiation. I love how they’re calling it cap and invest instead of cap and trade. We all know this is a ridiculous idea that somehow through sequestering carbon, which is just absurd, when we know China and India and other huge places in the world are not going to be doing this. Whatever we’re doing with this in the United States isn’t going to make a hill of beans worth of difference in the whole climate thing, even if we all buy into exactly what the climate change people would like everyone to buy into. Number two, really? We’re going to destroy our industry even more? We’re gonna pretend like we’re doing something else? He wants to try to have it all ways, Shapiro. He acts like he’s trying to be some kind of negotiator or middle of the road type of thing, when this is nothing but the biggest fear of what we thought RGGI was going to bring to us. This is just ridiculous.”

A recent poll in Arizona shows one in four people are actually worried about the climate. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “We all see this whole huge money grab, but you take a very small percentage of people going, hey, I can’t feed my family. I cannot see what’s happening and allow more of it on the southern border. But Josh Shapiro seems to be going along with the Democrat narrative of green energy.”

Barkdoll said, “Here’s another layer to this. I think you’re going to hear this come up when this gets into the General Assembly. The US is now the number one energy producer in the world. We’re producing more oil than we ever have. We’re the top oil producer in the world. We’re producing more natural gas than we ever have in history. The US is now a net exporter. So by definition, the US is completely energy independent now and those numbers keep going up month after month, oil production and gas production. The point is, why would we want to get in the way of that? I think everybody agrees those are good dynamics. Why would a state want to get in front of that, and possibly deter people from producing more energy? No doubt that’s an argument you’re going to hear coming from some of these energy companies, let alone all of the jobs that could be on the line if they have to start cutting production due to these kinds of new programs that the governor is proposing.”

Jansen added, “Then 70% of the money raised through the program will go to electricity bill rebates, this is nothing but a grift to shift money around. My electricity bills, all my fossil fuel bills right now are going sky high. Oh, you’re going to give me a rebate to pay for it by putting more pressure on the companies that will be raising my rates even more. This is a fake give back. This is not real. You’re destroying our economy. You’re hurting our ability to pay our bills, you’re going to cause the fuel inflation to increase and green energy is nowhere near ready to take up the capacity of fossil fuels. The grift and the lies behind this are mind boggling.”

Barkdoll suggested, “I think Shapiro is very, very political and what I mean by that is yet another example of an issue. Think about it. We know he seems to have larger ambitions. He once again seems to be walking this tightrope, threading the needle where he can say, I got out of RGGI. I never liked that program. I got out of RGGI, but then to appease the environmentalists, that small segment from that poll in Arizona, he can say well, I made a proposal to create our own standalone program. So it seems to be the best of all worlds. There have been a handful of issues like this, where he’s tried to achieve this balance. None of them have necessarily come to fruition. But I do wonder if this is all with an eye on something he has in the future?”

PA Representative Rob Kauffman said, “It just blows one’s mind that these folks believe that the money just comes from the corporations, that they are not going to pass any of that along to the consumer who is already seeing increased power rates, all of those those energy products are being increased to the consumer and they don’t think that’s going to get passed along. We’re going to end up paying for their cap and trade policies. There’s no common sense here.”

Jansen noted, “The use of the language to try to lull people into thinking well, investing in things is good, not when you’re investing in technology that’s not ready to produce the energy that America needs if it’s going to stay prosperous and successful or not. Then when you look at India and China and all the fossil fuels that will be used there, we know this idiotic carbon capture and carbon offsets we’re doing here will not counter that. But we don’t really teach young people how to think anymore, just because we’re doing this ridiculousness here that is not going to power the country enough. We’re also not going to make an impact because of what I just mentioned in China and India, still using fossil fuels, because they’re not going to slow down their progress. It’s just absurd to think that’s going to work. But we don’t have people that can think anymore. They just believe ‘oh, as long as we do this, then we’re somehow virtuous and we need to keep doing it even to our own detriment.’”

Shapiro is saying PA is 45th in the nation when it comes to clean energy investment, but what about all the solar fields? 

Kauffman said, “What I suspect he means is in public dollars investing in clean energy. Investing is a buzzword now in progressive land. That is when the government takes your money and gives it to those who are in favor at any given point. I mean, that is exactly what’s happening. If you look at what they call the surplus in Harrisburg or the fund balance, he wants to invest that. Essentially he wants to deficit spend until there’s no more left so he can come back to ask for more investment from the taxpayer.”

Ryan said, “Hey, Rob, I mean, you got $6 billion dollars in the rainy day fund. That’s my money. You should do something with my money. That’s the reason it’s in a rainy day fund, my keyboard warriorettes. It’s because it’s called a rainy day fund.”

Kauffman suggested, “What we would do with it is we would be good stewards of it and we would keep it for a rainy day.” 

Ryan quipped. “No, Rob, no, no, no, no, you’ve got to spend that money now. That’s my money.”

Jansen added, “For them to say we’re going to take 70% of the money raised through the program would go to electricity bill rebates is just a scream because the money raised from the carbon credits is then what the fossil fuel companies, our electric companies, our gas companies, they have to spend so much to be in compliance with this and to do this, and then they pass those increased costs on to us which raises our rates and then they say well here will break your legs and hand you crutches. Here’s a little bit of money now to offset those high energy costs. This is insane. It’s just wealth transferring.”

Kauffman said, “And don’t be surprised when those rebates are means tested. So only a certain segment of the ratepayers will get that rebate. Everybody will be paying in so that we can invest in clean energy, but only certain parts of the ratepayers would get that rebate.”