Governor Josh Shapiro is not letting RGGI go without a fight as he fulfills his promise to reduce Pennsylvania’s carbon emissions and rejects the fossil fuel industry’s attempts to kill the program.
The Governor’s announcement to appeal the Commonwealth Court’s misguided ruling on RGGI to the state Supreme Court is a clear signal that we can reduce emissions and provide high quality jobs for Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania can’t afford to keep dirty fuel as its primary energy source. It’s a heavily subsidized industry that should finally pay its fair share to offset its decades of polluting communities and blocking policies that could benefit all Pennsylvanians.
Briefly, in 2010, Pennsylvania became a leader in solar energy production as one of the top five states in the nation. But the fossil fuel industry and the lawmakers under their control swiftly killed state renewable energy policies, down-ranking Pennsylvania to 45th. As a result, Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the nation in greenhouse gas emissions—emitting 213.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
Eleven East Coast states have collectively agreed to reduce carbon emissions through the RGGI program, bringing $1.5 Billion in clean energy investments into their state economies. Most importantly, RGGI’s realized benefits of lower carbon emissions, consumer cost-savings, and job creation reach those most in need.
There is fundamentally no reason why Pennsylvania cannot diversify and clean up its energy industry—and it only needs to look to its neighbors for proof.
Without RGGI, Pennsylvania has no other option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring significant investments to a renewable energy transition. This is the best program we have to take urgent action against climate change and keep Pennsylvania’s energy economy competitive.