Gov. Wolf Applauds Environmental Board’s Commitment to Reducing Climate Change Impact in Pennsylvania
September 16, 2020
Governor Tom Wolf applauded the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) vote in favor of reducing carbon pollution from power plants. The EQB voted yesterday 13-6 in favor of the proposed regulation.
Under the proposed regulation, electric power plants that emit carbon dioxide will be required to obtain credits compatible with other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a coalition of states that have a regional cap on emissions. Modeling from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that participating in RGGI will decrease climate change causing carbon dioxide pollution as well as generate new jobs and reduce air pollution-related illness.
“As the numerous hurricanes that have hit the Gulf Coast and devastating wildfires in the west have shown, climate change is not going to wait. When I signed the executive order last year it was because I knew it was time to tackle this problem, and RGGI is part of that solution,” said Gov. Wolf.
Since taking office, Gov. Wolf has made it a top priority to reduce climate change impact in the commonwealth. He signed an Executive Order that directed DEP to begin a rulemaking process that will allow Pennsylvania to participate in RGGI.
A majority of Pennsylvanians support strong climate action and participation in RGGI helps make Pennsylvania a climate leader. The proposed regulation will be reviewed by the Office of the Attorney General and a public comment and participation period will be announced at a later date.
Electricity generation is one of the leading sources of carbon dioxide emissions in Pennsylvania, and the commonwealth is a leading emissions source in the country. The proposed regulation would reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 188 million tons between 2022 (when the regulation would go into effect) and 2030.
In addition, other benefits of RGGI for Pennsylvania include:
- Reduce carbon emissions by 188 million tons
- Increase of more than 30,000 jobs
- Reduction of other air pollutants like SO2 and NOx
- Avoiding 639 premature deaths from air pollution-related health issues
More information about RGGI can be found at www.dep.pa.gov/RGGI.