Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Judge Michael H. Wojcik of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has blocked the full implementation of ‘Reggie’ (RGGI or Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative). It’s another step backwards for Pennsylvania and efforts to address climate change in a timely manner.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI or 'Reggie')
Reporter Laura Legere added these additional details:

“The paused rule required fossil fuel power plants to pay for each ton of carbon dioxide they release and set a gradually declining cap on those emissions. The injunction means that the state will likely miss participating in the next regional auction of carbon allowances in September, which DEP estimates would have raised about $200 million for state programs to cut air pollution and promote clean energy.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / July 8, 2022
Blogger David E. Hess shared further details:

The challenge was brought by the PA Coal Alliance, United Mine Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Works, Boilermakers and several power generation companies. Various Senate Republicans also challenged the publication of the regulation in other court action. Read more here.

Click Here for a copy of the opinion.

On June 28, the Commonwealth Court denied the environmental groups’ request to intervene in the lawsuits on the merits of the case, but were allowed to participate in the preliminary injunction hearings, according to PennFuture Senior Attorney Jessica O’Neill, lead attorney for PennFuture, Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

“By denying our organizations the ability to participate in RGGI litigation, our important environmental interests have been improperly ignored by the Commonwealth Court. We have been working for years to advance necessary regulations to reduce carbon emissions in Pennsylvania, and RGGI is a critical component to reach our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are exploring all options in relation to the denial of our right to participate in these matters and will continue to fight for Pennsylvania’s carbon budget and trade rule and for our constitutional right to clean air.”

Senior Attorney Jessica O’Neill, lead attorney for PennFuture on behalf of the organizations

“Simply put, RGGI will save lives, create jobs, and lower Pennsylvania’s carbon footprint at a time when we need it most. We eagerly anticipate our next opportunity to defend this rule, which will unquestionably save lives by improving air quality and is necessary to cut Pennsylvania’s significant carbon footprint from the power sector.”

PennFuture Senior Attorney Jessica O’Neill, lead attorney for PennFuture, Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council
“The people have a right to clean air”

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