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PA Chamber Testimony on HB 1576 (September 17, 2013)

PA Chamber Testimony on HB 1576 (September 17, 2013)

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Pennsylvania Chamber and other industries show support for destroying endangered species habitats across Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Chamber and other industries show support for destroying endangered species habitats across Pennsylvania

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Published by: Sean Indignado Kitchen on Sep 18, 2013
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11/21/2013

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 Testimony
Submitted on behalf of thePennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
Public Hearing on House Bill 1576The Endangered Species Coordination Act
Before the:
House Environmental Resources and Energy Committeeand House Game and Fisheries Committee
Presented by:Shawn GoodDirector, Government AffairsFreeport, PASeptember 17, 2013417 Walnut StreetHarrisburg, PA 17101-1902717.720.5443 phonehttp://www.pachamber.org 
 
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Good morning, Chairmen Miller and Vitali, Chairmen Causer and Haluska,and members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy and HouseGame and Fisheries Committees. My name is Shawn Good, Director of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry(Pennsylvania Chamber), the largest broad-based business advocacyassociation in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Chamber represents thousandsof businesses from all industry sectors and of all sizes—from sole proprietors toFortune 100 corporations. On behalf of the Pennsylvania Chamber, I want tothank both standing committees for giving us the opportunity to provide testimonyon House Bill 1576, which would establish the Endangered Species CoordinationAct.Presently, any industry in Pennsylvania that seeks a state permit fordevelopment or redevelopment projects is required to evaluate their potentialimpact on threatened and endangered species and their critical habitats. As youhave already heard from some industries in the state, this current process canoften lead to unnecessary delays that ultimately increase the costs of theseeconomic development projects, consequently undermining the necessarybalance between threatened and endangered species management andeconomic development in the state. House Bill 1576 attempts to realign thisimportant balance by establishing a uniform, transparent, and accountableprocess for the evaluation, designation, and protection of threatened andendangered species in Pennsylvania.
 
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I will defer to our members who have provided testimony or will providetestimony to your committees on the specific examples as to how the currentthreatened and endangered species evaluation process will be improved by thislegislation. What I would like to accomplish in my testimony is to correct andclarify the misinformation that has been conveyed to your committees, thegeneral public, and the media about this legislation.First and foremost, I would like to dispel the misconception that this legislationbenefits only the natural gas industry. You have already heard from otherindustries, and you are likely to hear from more, about how House Bill 1576would improve and provide more balance to the current process for evaluating,designating, and protecting threatened and endangered species. The intensefocus placed on one specific industry diminishes the concerns faced by amultitude of industries impacted by the current process.Furthermore, I respectfully would like to remind the committees thatenvironmental regulatory requirements cost businesses hundreds of thousandsand even millions of dollars in compliance. Revenue set aside to comply withthese requirements is revenue that is not being used for research anddevelopment, the commercialization of new products, business development,and, ultimately, job creation in a multitude of occupations throughout the state. This is not to say or suggest in any way that these requirements should berepealed. Certainly, the Pennsylvania Chamber and its members believe thatthere are certain environmental regulatory requirements that are necessary toensure environmental and ecosystem protection. However, some of the

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