Thursday, February 8, 2024

PA Environmental Council, Environmental Defense Fund, PA League Of Women Voters Oppose Senate Bill Abrogating Final Rule Reducing Carbon Pollution From Power Plants [RGGI]

On February 7, the
PA Environmental Council and the Environmental Defense Fund wrote to all members of the Senate expressing their opposition to Senate Bill 1053 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) which would abrogate the final regulations reducing carbon pollution from power plants.

The bill was introduced February 2 and reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on February 5 by a party-line vote-- Republicans supporting-- and is now on the Senate Calendar for action when the Senate returns to voting session.

The text of the letter follows--

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), we are writing to express our opposition to Senate Bill 1058. This legislation, which would abrogate the CO2 Budget Trading Program rulemaking, is likely to come up for a floor vote today. 

Pennsylvania is at a deciding moment in the clean energy transition. Other states in the PJM Interconnection footprint are surpassing the Commonwealth in attracting clean energy generation, manufacturing, and investment, as well as achieving greater grid diversification. 

They are establishing requirements that will diminish our status as an energy exporter unless we proactively enact policies to drive decarbonization of our electricity generation.

Abrogating the CO2 Budget Trading Program would be a step backwards. Pennsylvania is best served by proactive policies that can leverage the unprecedented – but not indefinite – federal funding available to grow our economy, reduce emissions, and provide new workforce opportunities. 

The status quo has already laid the groundwork for reliability and cost concerns with respect to the electric grid.

 Unwinding this rulemaking won’t solve or abate those problems. In fact, the rulemaking could help address them – something the General Assembly could support and directly engage in.

The Governor’s Task Force, which included diverse stakeholders from environmental, labor, and generation interests, recognized that a market-based cap and investment program like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RRGI) was the most efficient and flexible approach to reducing emissions while also meeting the needs of consumers and the workforce. 

Our state can exponentially benefit from having a policy pathway that signals Pennsylvania is fully engaged in the energy transition; utilizing a proven policy like RGGI provides that certainty. 

For these reasons, we respectfully ask that you oppose Senate Bill 1058. 

Thank you for your consideration.

John Walliser

Senior VP, Legal & Government Affairs

Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Kate Courtin

Senior Manager, State Climate Policy & Strategy

Environmental Defense Fund  

PA League of Women Voters

The PA League of Women Voters also took a position opposing Senate Bill 1053, saying--

“For years, the League has strongly supported PA participation in RGGI, including Governor Shapiro’s appeal of the recent Commonwealth Court decision to repeal PA involvement. This bill would repeal RGGI before the PA Supreme Court has the chance to hear any arguments in the case.

“LWVPA opposes SB 1058. We are committed to ensuring the passage of much-needed policies to reduce dependence on fossil fuels either via Pennsylvania participation in RGGI, or a reasonable alternative, to preserve environmental sustainability across the state.”

They urged the public to contact their state Senator to express opposition. 

Click Here for their action alert.


-- Sen. Yaw Introduces SB 1058 To Abrigate RGGI Power Plant Carbon Pollution Reduction Program; Repeal ‘RGGI Carbon Tax;’ Yaw’s Committee Reports Bill To Full Senate

-- The Center Square: RGGI ‘Carbon Tax’ Power Plant Carbon Pollution Reduction Program Repeal Effort Reignited With Sen. Yaw Bill

Related Articles:

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

-- 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  [PaEN]

-- Gov. Shapiro’s Work Group Concludes A Cap-And-Invest Carbon Pollution Regulation Program Would Be Optimal Approach To Reducing Greenhouse Emissions From Power Plants; Scale Up Solar Energy [PaEN]

Related Articles This Week:

-- PA Utility Law Project, Public Citizen Host Feb. 16 Webinar Exploring The Impact Of LNG Natural Gas Exports On Pennsylvania Families  [PaEN]

-- Pittsburgh To Host World Affairs Institute Navigating Climate Intersections March 5; Adult And Student Leaders Welcome  [PaEN] 

-- PA Interfaith Power & Light, Jewish Earth Alliance Feb. 21 State Of Renewable Energy In PA Webinar [PaEN]

[Posted: February 8, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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