PEC Opposes Senate Bill to Abrogate RGGI Program

PEC and Environmental Defense Fund sent the following letter to Members of the Pennsylvania Senate on February 7, 2024:

Dear Senators:

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), we are writing to express our opposition to Senate Bill 1058. This legislation, which would abrogate the CO2 Budget Trading Program rulemaking, is likely to come up for a floor vote today.

Pennsylvania is at a deciding moment in the clean energy transition. Other states in the PJM Interconnection footprint are surpassing the Commonwealth in attracting clean energy generation, manufacturing, and investment, as well as achieving greater grid diversification. They are establishing requirements that will diminish our status as an energy exporter unless we proactively enact policies to drive decarbonization of our electricity generation.

Abrogating the CO2 Budget Trading Program would be a step backwards. Pennsylvania is best served by proactive policies that can leverage the unprecedented – but not indefinite – federal funding available to grow our economy, reduce emissions, and provide new workforce opportunities. The status quo has already laid the groundwork for reliability and cost concerns with respect to the electric grid. Unwinding this rulemaking won’t solve or abate those problems. In fact, the rulemaking could help address them – something the General Assembly could support and directly engage in.

The Governor’s Task Force, which included diverse stakeholders from environmental, labor, and generation interests, recognized that a market-based cap and investment program like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RRGI) was the most efficient and flexible approach to reducing emissions while also meeting the needs of consumers and the workforce. Our state can exponentially benefit from having a policy pathway that signals Pennsylvania is fully engaged in the energy transition; utilizing a proven policy like RGGI provides that certainty.

For these reasons, we respectfully ask that you oppose Senate Bill 1058.

Thank you for your consideration.

John Walliser
Senior VP, Legal & Government Affairs
Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Kate Courtin
Senior Manager, State Climate Policy & Strategy
Environmental Defense Fund