West Chester, Pa (April 22, 2022) – State Senator Carolyn Comitta today applauded news that Pennsylvania is finalizing the regulation to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
Tomorrow, the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) will publish the final form rule (available to view online today) on the Department of Environmental Protection’s CO2 Budget Trading Program regulation in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The rule promulgates the Commonwealth’s participation in RGGI, a market-based cap and invest program currently made up of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
The effort to join RGGI is the result of an extensive, multi-year process that Comitta championed in her role as minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
“It is only fitting that on Earth Day, Pennsylvania finalizes the most important step we can take to combat climate change, slash our emissions, invest in renewables, support the transition from fossil fuels, and refocus resources on environmental justice communities,” she said. “RGGI is a job-creating, emissions-reducing, cost-saving, economy-building, forward-thinking plan that will benefit all Pennsylvanians.”
RGGI addresses carbon pollution by setting regional limits on emissions for fossil-fuel-fired electric power plants. Plants can then purchase permits to emit up to that limit through quarterly auctions. Those limits decline each year, leading to decreased emissions.
In addition, Pennsylvania would realize an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars per year in RGGI proceeds – funds that Comitta and others believe should be directed to support workers and communities affected by energy transition, invest in environmental justice communities, and further strengthen Pennsylvania’s growing clean energy, commercial, and industrial sectors.
Comitta has introduced the RGGI Investments Act, Senate Bill 15, to target funding from RGGI proceeds to those areas, as well as communities impacted by climate change.
“Today is a major step forward for Pennsylvania’s environment, economy, communities, and our future. It’s also an opportunity for RGGI opponents to join us on the right side of history and science,” she said. “I hope my colleagues in the majority will consider putting politics aside and let go of efforts to delay RGGI in court. We’re poised to become the 12th RGGI state. Now is the time to come together and pass Senate Bill 15 for all Pennsylvanians.”