Southeastern PA lawmakers: Pennsylvania must join RGGI states now

HARRISBURG, Oct. 3 – A plan to finally add Pennsylvania to the Northeast’s carbon trading market is being met with praise from state lawmakers in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf this morning announced that his administration will put its weight behind adding the commonwealth to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first competitive carbon-credit market to incentivize clean emissions across the northeast states’ energy-industry sector.

Companies that innovate and produce clean energy will keep credits in the market, which are ante’d by all participants and lost by those that fail to meet modern benchmarks on pollution.

“I applaud Governor Wolf for his leadership,” said state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-Chester. “We must take strong action to stop climate change and shape a healthy future for our children. Joining RGGI positions Pennsylvania to protect our children’s future while strengthening our economy.”

Comitta is one of 31 early sponsors of House legislation that backstops the governor’s order.

“It’s time that Pennsylvania steps up to become a leader in fighting climate change and grow our economy through this partnership with neighboring states,” said state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, chair of the House Southeast Democratic Delegation. “RGGI is a win for the environment, our neighbors and families and our economy.”

Under RGGI, proponents say that Pennsylvania could produce lasting utility-consumer savings, and that the sector competition would drive the kind of large-scale innovations that save companies capital to reinvest and ultimately pollution, which has far greater costs.

“We must act now to arrest the damage that carbon emissions are having on our environment, our homes, our roads and bridges, and our lives,” said state Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-Bucks. “I wholeheartedly support Governor Wolf’s executive action because we have to take decisive steps today to save Pennsylvania from further devastation due to climate change.”

“We have to make changes to address the climate crisis now. Joining RGGI is real action that will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and it makes good economic sense. We cannot ignore the climate change impacts that we see happening all around us, and I’m glad to see Governor Wolf push us toward a cleaner future,” said state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery.

“In Harrisburg, we fight back against one bill after another that jeopardizes the safety of our air and water. It’s way past time for us to take positive action, and joining RGGI will move us in a positive direction,” said state Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware.

“I will always stand up and fight for clean air and clean water to ensure the prosperity of Pennsylvania. We owe it to our constituents to ensure that their children and grandchildren have a sustainable future we can all look forward to,” said state Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery.

“Joining RGGI and moving our commonwealth forward is the right thing to do,” said state Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester. “We can’t simply flip a switch in 2049 and expect to be generating clean energy by 2050. This program moves Pennsylvania progressively forward to sustainable, clean energy while safeguarding energy consumers and preserving our environment, and I wholeheartedly support it.”

“This is an initiative I fully support not only for the long-term benefits it will bring to our environment, but also because it will boost Pennsylvania’s economy and preserve people’s health for generations to come,” said state Rep. Joe Webster, D-Montgomery. “I’m proud that we’re finally joining neighboring states to work together on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to create a more sustainable commonwealth.”