PennFuture Blog

Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate

Pennsylvania Finally Caps Carbon Pollution From Power Plants: Now What?

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
After many delays, the Legislative Reference Bureau published the final CO2 Budget Trading Program, also known as the “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Rule.” Read more

Fallacy, Fiction, and Falsehoods: Debunking the Fossil Fuel Industry’s Stance on Russia’s War in Ukraine

by Jared Stonesifer, Director of Media Relations, Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
This is a running list of some of the most egregious bad-faith arguments being put forth by the fossil fuel industry and their legislative champions in media outlets across Pennsylvania, accompanied by fact-checking of those arguments. Read more

Terrible Excuses to Mine Bitcoin

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the energy impacts of Blockchain. While the panel of speakers made some good points, the hearing also provided a platform for several pro-bitcoin boosters to repeat really bad arguments in favor of wasteful crypto-mining. Read more

Renewable Natural Gas: Hope or Hype?

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
“Renewable natural gas” (RNG) sounds good, but does it live up to the hype as a green alternative to fracked gas or is it something like the mythical “clean coal?" Read more

Nigerian Princes: How the Fracked Gas Industry Killed Pennsylvania Coal and Raised Electricity Prices While Swimming in Taxpayer Subsidies

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
When the shale gas industry came to Pennsylvania, industry lobbyists were telling our legislators how profitable it would be. It turns out that wasn't the case. Read more

The Basics of Hydrogen

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
The topic of hydrogen can seem heavy and hard to digest. Read more

So What Comes Next for Pennsylvania's Efforts to Join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative?

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
In early September, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved a draft rule that would link Pennsylvania to RGGI. So what comes next in this long process? Read more

Chasing Bitcoin is a Bad Investment for Pennsylvania

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
It takes an obscene amount of energy to mine bitcoin and now companies are looking to power that mining by buying up cheap, dirty, outdated power plants just to run the computers to do the mining. Read more

Coal-Fired Power Plant to Close Because of Market Conditions, Not Environmental Regulations

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
Any time a fossil fuel plant retires, polluters and their backers almost always blame environmental rules. Don't be fooled. Read more

What Comes Next in Pennsylvania's Efforts to Join RGGI?

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
We are 19 months into a process expected to take about 24 months total. Read more

Net Metering Works for Pennsylvania

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
Fairness demands that we pay net-metered solar generators for the full value of the services they provide. Read more

A Breath of Fresh Air: How Will the Biden Administration Fight Carbon Pollution?

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
Even though federal action is likely on the way, Pennsylvania can and should move forward with its own proposed CO2 Cap and Invest program without delay. Read more

Fossil Fuel Polluters and Friends Ramp Up New Attack on Solar Energy in Pa.

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
Rep. Chris Dush, one of the most notorious climate deniers in the state House of Representatives, is leading a new assault on solar energy in Pa. Read more

Despite roadblocks from Legislature, RGGI rulemaking process advances

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
On Sept. 15, the Environmental Quality Board advanced for public comment Pennsylvania's cap-and-invest carbon reduction rule. Read more

Senate Bill 15: A New Direction for Pennsylvania

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
Sen. Costa and a number of co-sponsors have just introduced “The Energy Transition and Recovery Act” that, if passed, would help guide the Commonwealth through the coming energy transition and support our workers and communities as we cut carbon emissions and other harmful pollution. Read more

It’s Time to Move the RGGI Rulemaking Process Forward

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
On May 19th, the DEP is going to make a presentation to the Citizens Advisory Council and ask them to recommend that the RGGI rules be sent to the Environmental Quality Board for consideration. Read more

Model shows participation in RGGI would reduce pollution by 180 million tons

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
The results show the plan marks a significant step toward reaching our carbon pollution goals by saving 180 million tons of carbon pollution while maintaining Pennsylvania's status as a significant energy generator and exporter. Read more

DEP is Asking Us to Pick Up the Bill for Waste Coal...Again

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
In creating a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions in Pennsylvania, the state DEP should rethink its policy on waste coal. Read more

What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

by Rob Altenburg, Senior Director for Energy and Climate
Pennsylvania and other Northeast and Mid Atlantic states are exploring a cap-and-invest approach to address transportation-related carbon pollution Read more