“Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken a step forward on its popular CO2 cap-and-invest program, releasing not only the final-form language of the rule but also updated modeling and analysis,” said Rob Altenburg, PennFuture’s Senior Director for Energy and Climate.
If approved by the Environmental Quality Board this summer, this rule will go into effect next year and prevent millions of tons of carbon pollution from being dumped in our air by 2030. This is in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in public health savings, thousands of new jobs, and a net increase in our gross state product.
In getting to this point, the DEP has taken 32 hours of testimony from 449 people and reviewed 14,038 written comments. Those comments—along with independent polling—tell the same story: Pennsylvanians want our state government to act on climate.
According to polling conducted earlier this year, 73 percent of Pennsylvanians are concerned about the future negative impacts of climate change, and a cap-and-invest program here is our best chance to lower our carbon pollution. Pennsylvanians are serious about transitioning to a clean energy economy, and they support government action to help our communities and our workers break free from an economic reliance on fossil fuel extraction and consumption.
It is especially important that DEP has announced a set of RGGI Equity Principles to guide the Department in this rulemaking and the associated investments. For far too long, our environmental justice communities have suffered disproportionate impacts of pollution—we are encouraged that the DEP is taking steps to ensure these communities will be at the forefront of the decision making process now and in the future.”
PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania, fighting big polluters with legal muscle, enforcing environmental laws, and supporting legislative policy that protects public health. PennFuture is engaging and educating citizens about the realities of climate change, and giving them the tools needed to influence lawmakers on the issues. Visit www.pennfuture.org for more information.
Director of Media Relations