Pennsylvania municipalities have the right to determine what’s best for the health and welfare of their citizens. Last week Sen. Gene Yaw attempted to defend Senate Bill 275 which would deny local governments the ability to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis by regulating utility access. Energy preemption bills such as SB275 have been passed in 20 states and are a wider effort by the fossil fuel industry to prevent restrictions on energy sources that produce dangerous greenhouse gasses.

Yaw presents a hodge podge of flawed arguments and scare tactics to support his bill. For example, he paints a nightmare scenario in which the electric utilities are unable to handle peak loads with the 2021 catastrophe in Texas as an example. His argument is nonsense. The power failure in Texas happened because the utilities did not properly prepare for cold weather. Pennsylvania utilities know how to winterize their facilities!

Yaw seeks to protect the natural gas industry but does not mention the dangers of natural gas leaks, from increased asthma rates to deadly explosions. SB275 will make it difficult for municipalities to protect their citizens.

Bishop Dwayne Royster,

Harrisburg,

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