Senate Sends Bill Requiring Legislative Approval of RGGI to Governor

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved – and sent to the Governor – legislation that would increase legislative oversight on the proposal to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), according to Senator David G. Argall. 

“What Governor Wolf is proposing is essentially sending a pink slip to thousands of workers in the coal industry across Pennsylvania,” said Argall.  “Impactful decisions like implementing a cap and trade program should not be made by one man.”

The Senate approved House Bill 2025, which creates the Pennsylvania Carbon Dioxide Cap and Trade Authorization Act; clarifies that the Administration does not have the authority to unilaterally join RGGI; and prohibits the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from joining RGGI without Legislative approval.

On October 3, Governor Wolf directed the DEP to join RGGI — a collaboration of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The states set a cap on total Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from electric power generators in their states. In order to comply, power plants must purchase a credit or “allowance” for each ton of CO2 they emit.

If Pennsylvania joins RGGI, it would be the only major energy producing state in the compact and the resulting carbon tax on employers engaged in electric generation would devastate that industry and cost thousands of jobs.

House Bill 2025 establishes a series of steps that the DEP would be required to follow to ensure the public is informed and involved before it could submit a RGGI proposal to the General Assembly for consideration.

Senator Argall’s comments on this bill can be found at this link: https://pasen.wistia.com/medias/tmzqiy07sg 

Contact: Jim Brugger

717.787.2637