Senate Minority Leader Costa Announces Senate Bill 15 as Cornerstone of Pennsylvania’s Energy and Climate Policy
Statement from Mandy Warner, Director of Climate and Clean Air Policy, Environmental Defense Fund
(HARRISBURG, Pa. – July 30, 2020) Today, along with a diverse, bipartisan group of 17 co-sponsors, Pennsylvania State Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa announced Senate Bill (S.B.) 15, the Energy Transition and Recovery Act, an effort that will instruct the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to enact a limit on carbon pollution from the power sector. The bill buttresses Gov. Tom Wolf’s climate strategy in calling for a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas pollution. With this bill, the legislature is following the governor’s lead in heeding the call of the 79% of Pennsylvanians who believe it’s time to zero out carbon pollution from power plants.
Passage of the legislation will help ensure Pennsylvania’s power sector carbon pollution is eliminated by mid-century. Placing a declining limit on carbon pollution – and enabling a flexible, market-based framework for compliance such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI – will drive investments in economic development, infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency that will prove especially meaningful to low-income communities where consumers could save money on electric bills. Importantly, this legislation makes smart investments to support workers and communities impacted by fossil fuel plant closures and Environmental Justice communities that have borne the devastating impacts of pollution for far too long. A recent analysis by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) indicates that participation in RGGI will result in a net increase of over 27,000 jobs and add $1.9 billion to the Gross State Product.
Pennsylvania is the third largest greenhouse gas polluting state and is home to the fifth dirtiest power sector in the nation. A declining limit on power sector carbon emissions is critical to achieving the climate goals laid out by Gov. Tom Wolf in his January 8, 2019 executive order.
“Today, with Senator Costa’s leadership, Pennsylvania continues its momentum for cutting climate pollution and showing it is ready to lead. Implementing a competitive, market-driven system of carbon limits for the power sector will set the Commonwealth on the road toward meeting Gov. Wolf’s achievable, and essential, climate goals while driving investment in Pennsylvania, including in impacted communities. As Pennsylvania maps its energy and climate future, we urge swift passage of this legislation which will help us achieve a carbon-free economy by mid-century.”
- Mandy Warner, Director of Climate and Clean Air Policy, Environmental Defense Fund
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