(HARRISBURG, Pa. – October 27, 2021) Today, the Pennsylvania Senate voted in favor of a resolution that seeks to block the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a rule which has been approved by multiple committees of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as well as the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). Linking to the proven, multi-state program will facilitate a declining limit on power sector carbon emissions that is critical to achieving the climate goals laid out by Gov. Tom Wolf in his January 8, 2019 executive order. Proceeds from the program’s cap-and-invest mechanism, estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars annually, will enable investments in clean energy and energy efficiency and should be targeted to communities in greatest need, an opportunity that simply would not exist absent Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI.
A 2020 poll found that 72% of Pennsylvanians support the state linking to RGGI, with “broad support for RGGI’s improvement of air quality, health and climate change.”
“It is abundantly clear that our elected officials need to act with urgency to tackle the climate crisis we face, yet the Pennsylvania General Assembly continues to obstruct progress and is now supporting a resolution that perpetuates their inaction on climate.
“One way the General Assembly should lead is by considering the RGGI Investments Act. This bill would invest RGGI proceeds to spur investment in clean energy and energy efficiency, for communities facing transition, and for direct bill assistance to lower consumer electric bills.
“The dangerous flooding from Hurricane Ida as well as severe weather that continued into this very week were yet another clarion call for action. RGGI can help protect Pennsylvanians’ future by cutting the climate-warming pollution that’s fueling more frequent and intense storms. We respectfully urge Governor Wolf to veto any resolutions or measures that would undermine progress to address climate pollution.”
- Mandy Warner, Director of Climate and Clean Air Policy, Environmental Defense Fund
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