(Harrisburg, PA -- Sept 29, 2023) Governor Shapiro announced today the recommendations of his Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) working group, including a recognition that a cap-and-invest approach like RGGI is the “optimal” approach for the Commonwealth. This is a critical and momentous outcome from a diverse group of stakeholders. Following through on this core recommendation will help Governor Shapiro put the state on the path towards meeting its climate change goals.
“RGGI remains the best option for tackling multiple challenges facing Pennsylvania’s future – limiting harmful climate pollution, competing in the growing clean energy economy, and securing healthier communities,” said Mandy Warner, Director, Pennsylvania at the Environmental Defense Fund. “We thank the working group for their efforts and the priorities they have set to shape common-sense climate policy for the state.”
The working group identified several areas of consensus that can be important pillars of a comprehensive climate plan for Pennsylvania, specifically as the state considers how to rapidly transition its power sector to clean. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative offers a clear path forward for delivering cost-effective emission reductions, ensuring stronger uptake of federal investment dollars, and providing critical investments that can help Pennsylvania communities. “Based on the priorities put forth from the working group, RGGI is the ideal and proven program to help successfully accomplish the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.”
RGGI is a multistate program under which power companies are obliged to pay for the pollution they create and are thereby incentivized to increase zero-pollution and renewable energy sources. The program will provide hundreds of millions of dollars annually from auctions which can fund projects that reduce air pollution and energy costs, like energy efficiency, and for the deployment of renewable energy.
“RGGI is a critical policy to help get the state closer towards meeting its net-zero pollution goals, building a brighter future, ensuring it can be a clean, net exporter of energy, and investing in consumers with cost-saving energy efficiency and reducing dependence on volatile fossil fuels,” said Warner.
Climate change impacts, especially flooding, are already harming Pennsylvanians, and the problem is expected to get worse over the coming decades. “It is imperative that Governor Shapiro support Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI as a core part of a comprehensive climate plan on which the state needs to deliver to ensure it meets its climate change goals and will not be left behind in the growing clean energy economy.”
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