Executive Director, PennEnvironment
Executive Director, PennEnvironment
Legislature’s environmental attack would halt PA’s involvement in regional climate program and slow much-needed climate action
PHILADELPHIA — On Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf swiftly vetoed legislation passed by the state General Assembly (SCRRR1) that attempts to block Pennsylvania from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a multi-state program that has successfully reduced climate pollution in participating northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and is expected to reduce carbon emissions in Pennsylvania by 227 million tons by 2030.
PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center’s Executive Director David Masur issued the following statement in response to Gov. Wolf’s veto of SCRRR1:
“PennEnvironment applauds Governor Wolf for taking swift and decisive action to beat back attacks on Pennsylvania’s much-needed programs to reduce global warming pollution.
“RGGI has a proven track record of cutting climate pollution while also raising funds that can be invested in renewable energy projects, energy efficiency and energy conservation initiatives.
By vetoing this attack on RGGI, Gov. Wolf stands with a majority of Pennsylvanians who support solutions to climate change.
“Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI went through a rigorous review process with ample opportunity for public input. During a 60-day public comment period held by the PA-DEP, 10,000 PA residents submitted written comments in favor of RGGI, and out of more than 400 residents who gave spoken testimony, 95% voiced clear support for PA’s participation. In addition to the overwhelming support voiced for RGGI during the public comment period, multiple advisory committees representing small businesses, community members, and technical scientific advisors have voted to move forward with RGGI in Pennsylvania.
“The consequences of climate change – which in Pennsylvania will include extreme heat, increased flood risk, and worsened air quality – loom larger with each day that our leaders in the General Assembly fail to act to address the root of the problem: greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. By doing everything in their power to block climate progress, legislative leaders in Harrisburg are not only neglecting their charge to protect the health and wellbeing of their constituents, but willfully leading Pennsylvania into a future dominated by catastrophic climate change.
“With RGGI, as well as bold action from our leaders to transition the state and nation to 100% renewable energy, Pennsylvanians can instead envision a future where our lives are powered by clean sources like the sun and wind, our air is clean and safe to breathe, and our communities are healthier because of it.
“Governor Wolf’s veto of SCRRR1 and continued effort to participate in RGGI emphasizes his commitment to this cleaner, better future. We hope the members of the General Assembly who voted to pass the anti-RGGI resolution will reconsider their obligation to residents’ health and futures and support RGGI moving forward.
PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center is a nonprofit organization that studies and promotes clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our researchers and policy analysts craft and spotlight ideas to solve local, state and national problems in ways that can help transform our world into a greener, healthier place. PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center is an affiliate of Environment America Research & Policy Center. For more information about this or other projects, visit our website at www.PennEnvironmentCenter.org.