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Pennsylvania can make better decisions than 9 other states

One of our lawmakers, state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, has spent years working and striving to find the right balance between preserving our environment and assuring that working families across Pennsylvania will have access to affordable energy.

On one hand, he has championed state funding to rehabilitate watersheds and improve the cleanliness of Pennsylvania’s streams, creeks and rivers. He now is pressing for an overhaul of state regulations on commercial fertilizer application to reduce the runoff of pollutants.

On the other hand, and with greater detail in Sen. Yaw’s column also on this page, he’s pushing back against municipal officials that want to limit heating options for homeowners in their respective municipalities.

It is, of course, often difficult to find the right balance. But Yaw and our other elected lawmakers clearly take the matter seriously, along with state officials in the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources.

And why shouldn’t they take the matter seriously? After all, they live here. Their families, friends and neighbors live here, and have to live with the quality of air and water — or lack thereof — and with the monthly bills for heat and electricity — whether low or high.

It’s why we should all be concerned about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a plan Yaw recently stopped by the Sun-Gazette offices to criticize.

The initiative is a compact of 10 states, working in tandem to reduce carbon emissions.

We want to see carbon emissions reduced. Yaw and our other lawmakers want to see carbon emissions reduced.

But Pennsylvania has a legislature and departments within the executive branch to address the best ways to regulate and reduce carbon emissions. We have people who can weigh the benefits and consequences of potential solutions and who have a vested interest in finding the right one.

Because they live here.

Unlike the legislature of New York state, or the governor of Connecticut or the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Our approach to balancing the environment and our energy needs should be led by Pennsylvanians. Not by a 10-state initiative. Because Pennsylvanians will have to live with the consequences — not the officials in nine other states.

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