Thursday, November 30, 2023

PennFuture, Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund File Appeal Of Commonwealth Court’s Ruling Refusing To Allow Them To Intervene In RGGI Carbon Pollution Reduction Case

On November 29,
PennFuture, Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, and Environmental Defense Fund filed an appeal of the Commonwealth Court’s November 1, 2023 ruling that blocked Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multistate carbon emissions reduction program. 

This appeal continues the groups’ challenge to the Commonwealth Court’s refusal to allow the environmental groups to intervene in the RGGI litigation, issued on June 28, 2022.  

“We look forward to the opportunity to defend PA’s RGGI Rule and our members’ rights under the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Environmental Rights Amendment in this case,” said Jessica O’Neill, Senior Attorney at PennFuture, on behalf of the parties. “While we support the Commonwealth’s appeal of the misguided decision by the lower court, our groups have a distinct interest in appealing the decision and upholding Pennsylvania’s regulations aimed at reducing climate emissions and improving the health of our most burdened communities.”

The appeal continues to urge the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overturn the prior decisions of the Commonwealth Court in this litigation. 

In particular, the appeal highlights the unique position of environmental groups that represent their members as beneficiaries under the Environmental Rights Amendment, an interest that is distinct from the Commonwealth’s interest as a trustee of PA’s public natural resources. 

Participation in the RGGI program would bring huge, known benefits to Pennsylvanians including lower carbon emissions, reduced air pollution, consumer cost savings, and job creation that would prioritize those most in need. 

It would also spur clean energy investments that provide additional public health, environmental, and economic benefits.

Prior Appeal

On May 24, 2023, the groups, represented by PennFuture’s Attorneys O’Neill and Emma Bast, argued their appeal before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to allow the groups to participate in the ongoing RGGI litigation.

 The Supreme Court had not issued a ruling in that case, which also included a temporary halt to the RGGI Rule, before the Commonwealth Court’s recent decision barring Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI.

Click Here for the complete announcement.


-- PA Capital-Star: PA Environmental Groups Join Shapiro On RGGI Appeal

Related Article:

-- Shapiro Administration Announces Appeal Of RGGI Rejection To PA Supreme Court To Preserve Authority For Future Governors [PaEN]

[Posted: November 30, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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