It’s Time to Act on Climate Change in Pennsylvania

January 23, 2019


Contact: Josh Raulerson, Director of Communications
Phone: 412-481-9400
Email: [email protected]

It’s Time to Act on Climate Change in Pennsylvania

PEC Releases Proposed First Steps for State Action

Pittsburgh — Calling on Governor Wolf and the General Assembly to act without further delay, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) today identified immediate steps Pennsylvania can take to reduce emissions of climate-changing gases.

“After years of talk, debate, research, and more talk about climate change, PEC respectfully requests that Governor Wolf and the General Assembly move immediately to join nine other Northeastern states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI),” said Davitt Woodwell, President of PEC. “We also ask that the governor and legislature adopt a Clean Energy Standard out of the current Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.”

Taking these actions in the right ways will promote a broad, technology-agnostic energy policy that encourages low- and zero-carbon-emission energy sources including renewables, nuclear, and fossil fuels with carbon capture technologies. Following these steps, Pennsylvania can substantially reduce emissions while working to protect consumers and create opportunities for workers.

PEC has been working on climate issues for well over a decade, from the 2007 release of its “Carbon Roadmap for Pennsylvania” to 2017’s “Achieving Deep Carbon Reductions: Paths for Pennsylvania’s Electricity Future,” which grew out of a PEC- hosted conference convening experts from around the country.

“It is clear from all of our work that Pennsylvania has the opportunity and the imperative to take action on reducing climate-changing emissions,” PEC Senior Vice President John Walliser said. “What we are proposing today is not a silver bullet; rather, it is a significant first step on a long path forward. We look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly to build that path.”

Joining RGGI will put Pennsylvania’s electric generators in a market-based program that sets targets for emissions and allows emitters to trade credits for their reductions. One result of the program is a revenue stream for participating states that has topped one billion dollars during compliance periods. Creating a Clean Energy Standard will allow the Commonwealth to significantly reduce carbon emissions while also promoting its ever-evolving energy economy. Both these steps need to be carefully developed with the state’s interests in mind.

In addition to these steps, PEC has also expressed its support of Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Transportation Initiative announced in December, as well as continuing and developing programs for energy efficiency, alternative-fuel vehicles, and technological innovation.

“When it comes down to it, we are running out of time to act on climate in anything but a crisis mode. By seizing control of its destiny with these steps, Pennsylvania can still make choices about how we fit into the narrative. Wait any longer and it is too late,” said Woodwell.

Visit to read the full report and learn more about PEC’s Deep Decarbonization initiative.


About the Pennsylvania Environmental Council

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is a statewide organization that brings people, government, and business together to find real world solutions for environmental challenges. These solutions bring about sustainable communities, protect our water resources, and address energy and climate issues. PEC was founded in 1970 and serves the entire state through offices in Luzerne, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and State College.

For more information, visit