Pennsylvania is fortunate to have abundant natural resources. Individuals have been and continue to be attracted to the Keystone state because of the vast choices for outdoor recreation and quality of life. Likewise, many of those natural resources have been the source of prosperity for the state throughout different points in our history.
The members of the business community recognize that without a healthy and sustainable natural environment it is difficult to maintain and attract high quality employees. It is equally important to ensure that environmental regulation is approached on a scientific basis to ensure that regulated entities are being asked to do what is reasonable, within technological limits. It is likewise prudent that these regulations actually achieve real environmental benefits and does not advantage one sector of the economy to the detriment of another.
It is imperative that Pennsylvania not enact laws or regulations that place Pennsylvania at a competitive disadvantage to its competitor states. Laws and regulations should not be more stringent than federal regulations or laws unless there is a compelling Pennsylvania specific reason.
Pennsylvania’s business community recommends the following steps:
Decide Climate Change at the Federal Level
Climate change is an international issue. As such, it is an issue that is best debated and policy direction set at the national level before states establish a patchwork of policy and regulatory programs, which may put Pennsylvania at an economic disadvantage. Any state legislative or regulatory policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must: stem from federal legislative authority; be based on sound science; recognize that a diverse fuel source is a necessary component of Pennsylvania’s economy; rely on market-driven solutions to identify technologies; and provide sufficient time to bring enabling energy technologies to market.
Protect Water Resources
Pennsylvania is fortunate to have an abundance of water resources – over 86,000 miles of streams and rivers, 161,455 acres of lakes and enough ground water to completely submerge the state under eight feet of water if it were brought to the surface. However, as our economy grows, we must work to ensure that the quality and quantity of our water resources is maintained. As the state moves to finalize a state water plan, and works to consider and implement regulatory programs from the variety of basin commissions and compacts involved in managing water in the Commonwealth, it must be done in a manner that does not advantage one sector of the economy to the detriment of another.
PA Competitiveness with Sen. Mike Regan
The goal of Pennsylvania policymakers should be to make it the smart business decision for employers to locate, expand, and hire here in this commonwealth rather than in one of our competitor states. Likewise, the goal of federal policymakers ought to be to optimize conditions for economic growth in the United States so American businesses can compete worldwide. This means we must restrain state spending, enact pro-growth business tax relief, provide limits on lawsuit abuse, improve the regulatory climate, and ensure we have a trained workforce. Our state government cannot tax-and-spend the way to good fortune for all; but we can grow the private sector by attracting new business investments and expanding the tax base, then prosperity will surely follow.
PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNMENT 101
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