First-term Gov. Phil Murphy (D) “announced Monday that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has formally adopted two rules that will allow the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)”, reports HJ Mai for Utility Dive on June 18. The membership takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, when New Jersey will join the nine Mid-Atlantic and New England states in the program: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Could Pennsylvania be next?
In a Feb. 5 op-ed in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Davitt Woodwell, president of Pittsburgh-based Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and Dan Grossman of Environmental Defense Fund, observe that “Pennsylvania is the only state from Maine to Virginia without a limit on carbon pollution from its power plants – or a concrete plan to put limits in place.”
Noting that Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order on Jan. 8 establishing the first statewide goal to reduce carbon pollution in Pennsylvania, they argue that “the Commonwealth needs immediately to set a declining limit on carbon pollution from our electric power sector (the source of 37 percent of the state’s energy-related emissions) in order to reach the Governor’s reduction goals.”
A flexible, market-based policy can be deployed to achieve that limit, creating a framework that incentivizes the lowest-cost pollution reductions while enhancing the deployment and utilization of zero-emission energy resources. One such approach could be for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)…
Joining RGGI and other climate policy proposals are included in PEC’s white paper, “Energy and Climate: A Policy Pathway Forward for Pennsylvania,” accessible on its Deep Decarbonization webpage.