Thursday, January 16, 2020

Rep. Metcalfe Warns Top Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Officials “Rogue Governor” Doesn't Have The Authority To Join RGGI

On January 16, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair, House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, sent a letter to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Executive Committee saying Pennsylvania has a “rogue Governor” who lacks the authority to make Pennsylvania part of the RGGI initiative without legislative approval.   
On October 3, Gov. Wolf signed an executive order directing DEP to join the interstate Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative through a regulation adopted by the Environmental Quality Board.
Rep. Metcalfe’s letter said--
“Allow me to state simply and unequivocally: Governor Wolf lacks the unilateral authority to join RGGI…Just as almost all of the states that make up RGGI have joined by enacting statutes, Pennsylvania law requires that in order for the governor to execute a carbon cap-and-trade program such as RGGI, explicit approval is required from our Commonwealth’s legislative branch.
“Welcoming Pennsylvania into your ranks without legislative approval would be foolish and harmful both to RGGI and our Commonwealth…This will leave both RGGI and Pennsylvania in an unwelcome state of limbo. 
“It will complicate RGGI’s administration and likely take years to resolve. You will not be able to count on Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI, but you will have to expend time and resources planning for it, nonetheless.
“Bipartisan and bicameral discussions and efforts are already well underway aimed at halting this action.
“Pennsylvania has a rogue governor. If you allow him to move forward without legislative approval, RGGI will undoubtedly incur significant costs involved with the ensuing litigation. These are costs that would presumably be paid by the taxpayers of the existing member states.
“I respectfully request that you do not move forward with completing Pennsylvania’s proposed entry into RGGI, unless and until Governor Wolf obtains proper authority, by legislative action of the General Assembly, to link our Commonwealth with RGGI. If this does not occur, legal action will follow.”
Click Here for a copy of the letter.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s climate-related  initiatives, visit DEP’s Climate Change webpage.
[Posted: January 16, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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