Governor Wolf’s proposal to bring Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Initiative (RGGI), announced today, is the first concrete and meaningful step that the Commonwealth has taken to directly address its role in exacerbating climate change. For that, the Governor is to be congratulated.
Already including nine – soon to be 11 – northeast states, RGGI offers a market-based approach to reducing emissions that does not pick winners and losers in the energy markets. Instead, it allows for all generation to compete, while producing significant returns that would allow the state to mitigate price impacts on residential, commercial, and industrial consumers. It also provides a vehicle to advance further energy efficiencies and innovations.
Today’s announcement is momentous, but we must recognize this is only the first step in getting Pennsylvania’s energy markets to reflect climate and market realities that are already in play in many other states. Upcoming steps, in addition to the state securing its inclusion in RGGI, must also include the progression of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard toward a comprehensive Clean Energy Standard that recognizes how all forms of energy and technology can play a role in a fully decarbonized economy for Pennsylvania – a broader commitment every bit as important as the significant step made today.