Krueger-Braneky slams Fiscal Code bill as attack on Pennsylvania’s environment

HARRISBURG, Jan. 12 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, issued the following statement following the passage of H.B. 1327, known as the Fiscal Code bill:

“This Fiscal Code represents exactly what so many Pennsylvanians have come to resent about politics. It is full of $12 million in handouts to gas companies while Pennsylvanians across the state continue to ask for a severance tax and wonder why at a time when we do not have a budget and our schools need increased funding, we’re giving away money to the very people they have asked us to fairly tax.

“Frankly, it is an insult to our constituents to vote for the passage of this bill. A severance tax must come first before further giveaways to the gas drillers. There have been at least nine different severance tax bills that have been introduced, with lead sponsors from both sides of the aisle, and yet we have not had a chance to vote on a clean severance tax bill that a majority of Pennsylvanians want.

“Not only does this bill give more handouts to the gas companies, it attacks the Department of Environmental Protection’s ability to implement the Clean Power Plan. Why anyone would vote to impede our ability to reduce Pennsylvania’s output of carbon pollution is beyond me, but this bill would hinder Pennsylvania’s ability to write a plan that meets the necessary requirements.

“As someone who has spent over a decade helping local businesses become more environmentally sustainable and economically viable, I recognize the severe damage this bill would do to our state. We need Pennsylvania to be a leader in reducing carbon pollution and promoting the growing field of renewable energy. We can cut carbon and create jobs while remaining healthy and profitable.

“The passage of this bill will only kick the can further down the road and delay a better future for Pennsylvania.”

The legislation returns to the state Senate for consideration of House amendments.