Some More Good News Out of Harrisburg on Climate Change
Last spring, I wrote to you about joining Gov. Tom Wolf to announce Pennsylvania’s membership in the U.S. Climate Alliance. By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, the commonwealth became one of 24 states committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. I titled that email: “FINALLY some good news out of Harrisburg about climate change.”
I’m happy to report, I have some MORE good news out of Harrisburg:
Today, the governor announced that Pennsylvania will be joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (or RGGI, pronounced “Reggie”), a cooperative effort among nine states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont—to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. New Jersey and Virginia will soon be a part of RGGI. Pennsylvania will be the 12th state on board.
This is a great step in the right direction, and I applaud the governor for making the move.
Here in Pennsylvania and across the globe, every industry, every project and every sector will be impacted by climate change. It will require our creativity and dedication to assure communities and workers impacted that they will not be left behind to suffer the ravages of change while others benefit. This is a challenge the commonwealth took steps to meet today.
In recent years, Pennsylvania has been seriously outpaced by stronger energy standards in neighboring states like Maryland, already a RGGI member, and New Jersey. Joining RGGI is an important step in reducing our CO2 emissions, improving our energy profile, spurring innovation in the clean energy economy and creating green jobs.
RGGI represents a unique opportunity for Pennsylvania, a major electricity producer, to become a leader in combatting climate change and grow our economy by partnering with neighboring states. Since 2005, RGGI states have reduced power sector CO2 pollution by an impressive 45 percent, while the region’s per-capita GDP has continued to grow.
I look forward to working with the RGGI states to cap and reduce CO2 emissions here in the commonwealth; to addressing the climate crisis and protecting our economy; and to bringing you even more good news out of Harrisburg about climate change.