Letter to the Editor: ‘Clean Power Plan’ will put many Pennsylvania seniors in financial squeeze

September 14th, 2015 11:10 pm

On behalf of the millions of senior citizens living on fixed incomes in Pennsylvania, I thank Sen. Pat Toomey for his opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule on carbon emissions and urge him to stand his ground in the face of this announced smear campaign.

The National Resources Defense Council Action Fund and the Environmental Defense Action Fund recently announced a $1 million campaign targeting legislators who have taken the time to educate themselves on the effects of implementing the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” and subsequently deemed it more harm than good.

Sen. Toomey is looking out for his constituents, and these groups are misinformed to claim it will only be the coal industry to feel the pinch. A study done by the National Economic Research Associates on the proposed rule showed a 14 percent increase annually in Pennsylvania’s cost of electricity.

While the NRDC and EDAF might be able to afford a double-digit annual increase to their electric bills, the 1.7 million Pennsylvanians (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013) below the poverty line simply cannot. When 20 percent of your monthly income is spent on energy, you have to choose between basic necessities such as prescription medications and groceries and whether you can afford to turn on the heat and air-conditioner.

Sen. Toomey understands these high costs for a political agenda-driven return and is appropriately representing the seniors living on fixed incomes and those in his district making the most of the little they have.

Matthew Kandrach

Vice president

The 60 Plus Association

Alexandria, Va.