December 13, 2021
Dear Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly,
The undersigned mayors are writing to urge you to vote NO on Senate Bill 275 or House Bill 1947.
Specifically, SB275 and HB1947 would strip control away from municipal officials and prevent them from implementing local policies meant to reduce global warming and air pollution. Advocates of this legislation are pushing this proposal in order to prevent local elected leaders from implementing policies that promote electrifying buildings and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels — an egregious overreach of the General Assembly in its own right.
Yet SB275 and HB1947 would go much further than that. As written, HSB275 and HB1947 clearly state that this legislation would attempt to illegalize local policies that have the “effect of” (P. 2, Line 3 of proposed legislation) limiting the use of gas in buildings at the local level. With such broad language, municipal efforts to promote home weatherization, energy efficiency, or rebates on cleaner appliances would be open to legal challenges in the commonwealth’s courts.
In other words, this legislation would strip local control and block any municipal effort to improve public health and combat climate change by cleaning up residential and commercial buildings. These bills needlessly restrict municipalities from adopting policies to address local needs and concerns, and their vagueness only serves to take away localities’ freedom to provide residents with a choice.
These attacks on local control are part of a coordinated, national effort by the fossil fuel industry. So far, over 20 states have adopted legislation to preempt local governments, and similar legislation has been introduced in many others.
Therefore, we ask that you vote NO on SB 275 and HB 1947 and defend our local municipalities’ ability to implement the policies they support and demand. Thank you very much for your consideration.
Mayor Jeanne Sorg, Ambler
Mayor-elect J. William Reynolds, Bethlehem
Mayor Tim Scott, Carlisle
Mayor Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins, Collegeville
Mayor Yaniv Aronson, Conshohocken
Mayor Ron Strouse, Doylestown
Mayor Joe Schember, Erie
Mayor Danene Sorace, Lancaster
Mayor Andrea Deutsch, Narberth
Mayor Stephanie Henrick, Pottstown
Mayor Paige Cognetti, Scranton
Mayor Ron Filippelli, State College
Mayor Barbarann Keffer, Upper Darby
Mayor Jordan Norley, West Chester
Mayor Danelle Fournier, West Conshohocken
Mayor Marita Garrett, Wilkinsburg
Mayor Derek Slaughter, Williamsport