Monday, March 18, 2024

Senator Argall Raises Concerns Over Governor Shapiro's Energy Plan Impact on Schuylkill/Carbon Coal Refuse Plants

Senator Dave Argall has expressed apprehension over Governor Josh Shapiro's newly proposed energy plan, citing potential repercussions for four local coal refuse plants situated in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties.
In a recent statement, Senator Argall emphasized the collaborative efforts that had been undertaken across party lines to sustain these local coal refuse plants amidst challenging circumstances. He expressed disappointment in what he perceives as Governor Shapiro's lack of consideration for the contributions of these plants to the region's environmental and economic landscape.

Argall emphasized the significant transformation brought about by these plants over the past three decades, highlighting the conversion of coal waste-ridden areas into green spaces. He argued that the proposed carbon tax within Shapiro's energy plan could jeopardize not only local employment but also the stability of the region's power grid and Pennsylvania's position as an energy leader.

The Senator urged Governor Shapiro to reassess his stance and engage with stakeholders from the region in devising a more collaborative energy strategy. He recalled bipartisan legislative efforts, spearheaded by himself and former Senator John Yudichak, which aimed to bolster these plants and were successfully enacted into law by Governor Wolf.

During a public hearing in 2022, stakeholders had testified to the role of these legislative measures in safeguarding the viability of the coal refuse industry. Senator Argall voiced concerns that Shapiro's proposed energy plan could potentially undo the progress achieved through these legislative initiatives.

Highlighting data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Senator Argall emphasized the positive environmental impact of coal refuse plants, including the reclamation of thousands of acres of abandoned mine land and the restoration of polluted streams. He stressed the importance of these plants in both generating electricity and reclaiming land from abandoned strip mines.

The four coal reclamation plants at the heart of Senator Argall's concerns are situated in Schuylkill and Carbon Counties, namely Rausch Creek Generation in Tremont, Panther Creek Energy Facility in Nesquehoning, Schuylkill Energy Resources in Shenandoah, and John B. Rich Memorial Power Station near Frackville.