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Tell Gov. Shapiro: Appeal the RGGI Ruling

Message from Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director and Chief Counsel, Clean Air Council

The Commonwealth Court just dealt a blow to Pennsylvania’s plan of joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program that would reduce climate pollution and invest in local communities. 

Given that Pennsylvania is the nation’s fourth largest emitter of carbon dioxide, joining RGGI would help reduce climate-warming emissions and support climate change initiatives. 

It’s imperative that Governor Shapiro act quickly and appeal this decision to the state Supreme Court. Send a message to the Governor to voice your support for RGGI and urge him to appeal the decision.

RGGI would require regulated fossil fuel power plants to purchase allowances for the carbon emissions they produce. These funds can then go towards projects like renewable energy development, clean energy job programs, and more energy efficient buildings. 

RGGI currently includes 11 participating states and has a proven track record of reducing emissions while jumpstarting climate change initiatives. Although Pennsylvania officially entered into RGGI in April 2022, multiple lawsuits and proposed anti-RGGI legislation have caused Pennsylvania to miss out on over 1.5 billion dollars in RGGI proceeds.

This recent Commonwealth Court ruling found RGGI allowances to be a tax, thereby making the implementation of RGGI unconstitutional unless it is done through the legislative process. Nevertheless, as the Governor’s RGGI Working Group memo concluded, RGGI still remains the best option for creating jobs, tackling climate change, and ensuring affordable energy. Governor Shapiro has 30 days to appeal to the state Supreme Court. 

Tell Governor Shapiro that Pennsylvanians want RGGI. The Governor must act now and continue supporting RGGI as the best way forward in reducing climate-warming emissions and investing in Pennsylvania.