RGGI Working Group Concludes its Work, Co-Chairs Hail Collaborative Process that Brought Diverse Group Together & Reached Consensus on a Number of Key Issues
September 29, 2023
Following through on campaign promise, Governor Shapiro brought organized labor, energy industry representatives, environmental protection stakeholders, and consumer advocates together for the first time to discuss Pennsylvania’s energy future
Working Group reaches consensus that cap-and-invest carbon regulation for the power sector that generates revenue to support the Commonwealth’s energy transition would be optimal approach
PENNSYLVANIA – When running to lead our Commonwealth, Governor Shapiro regularly heard from Pennsylvanians who felt shut out from the conversations and decision-making around the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Pennsylvania’s energy policy. As a candidate, Governor Shapiro pledged to create and empower a working group of leaders from a wide range of perspectives to evaluate the merits of Pennsylvania’s membership in RGGI and any proposed alternatives.
Governor Shapiro followed through on that promise shortly after taking office, creating the RGGI Working Group, chaired by Jackson Morris of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Mike Dunleavy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5 in Pittsburgh. The group reflected the diversity of opinion across the Commonwealth, with members drawn from organized labor, the energy industry (i.e., fuel production, electric utilities, fossil fuel and nuclear generation), environmental groups, and consumer advocates. The group met nine times throughout the spring and summer, with additional subgroups meeting informally to discuss particular topics.
The Governor made clear any energy policy supported by his Administration must meet his three-part test of protecting and creating energy jobs; taking real action to address climate change; and ensuring reliable, affordable power for consumers in the long term.
The Working Group evaluated potential energy policy using that test, and reached consensus that a form of cap-and-invest carbon regulation for the power sector that generates revenue to support the Commonwealth’s energy transition is the optimal approach moving forward.
As the Working Group concludes, Co-Chairs Jackson Morris and Mike Dunleavy issued the following statement on behalf of the Working Group:
“Governor Shapiro brought together the most diverse group of Pennsylvania leaders in recent memory to develop recommendations on climate and energy policy that will serve all interests in the Commonwealth – and we’re proud that every member of the Working Group engaged in a thoughtful, productive conversation about the three-part test he laid out during his campaign.
“Thanks to that dialogue, the diverse members of the Working Group – from organized labor and the energy industry to environmental groups and consumer representatives – found common ground and consensus on a number of key issues.
“The Working Group reached broad consensus that reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth is both necessary and inevitable, and that a cap-and-invest carbon regulation for the power sector that generates revenue to support the Commonwealth’s energy transition would be the optimal approach for the Commonwealth to protect and create energy jobs, take real action to address climate change, and ensure reliable, affordable power for consumers in the long-term. The Working Group also agreed that any cap-and-invest program should include policy levers and investment strategies which help avoid any potential emissions leakage, higher localized pollution, increased energy costs, and job loss.
“While the Working Group has concluded its work, we look forward to continuing this dialogue and working with Governor Shapiro – and each other – to implement many of the consensus recommendations to strengthen the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio and serve the best interest of all Pennsylvanians.”
The RGGI Working Group was made up of:
- Michael Dunleavy, IBEW Local 5 (Retired)
- Jackson Morris, NRDC
- Robert Bair, Pennsylvania Building & Construction Trades Council
- Tony Seiwell, Laborers’ District Council of Eastern Pennsylvania
- James Snell, Steamfitters Local 420
- Shawn Steffee, Boilermakers Local 154
- Franz Litz, Litz Energy Strategies
- David Masur, PennEnvironment
- John Walliser, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
- Lael Campbell, Constellation
- Julie LaBella, Talen Energy
- Sean Lane, Olympus Power
- Hilary Mercer, Shell
- Zach Smith, CNX
- Kevin Walker, Duquesne Light Company
- Patrick Cicero, Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate
- Elizabeth Marx, Pennsylvania Public Utility Law Project
The final RGGI Working Group Memorandum can be found here.
Governor’s Press Office, email@example.com
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