The Pennsylvania House of Representatives took a stand against another unilateral action by Gov. Tom Wolf  by voting to require legislative authorization before the Commonwealth could join the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Last fall, the governor issued an executive order calling on the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop proposed regulations to join RGGI. Every other state involved in the initiative was authorized to participate by its respective state legislature, not unilateral executive action.  

The legislative process is designed to ensure all potential impacts of proposals like RGGI are considered. While environmental impacts are important, we must also consider the economic impacts. Participation in RGGI requires a carbon tax, which could eliminate more than 30% of the state’s current energy generation capacity, undermine our status as an electricity exporter, trigger thousands of lost jobs and massive property tax increases from closed plants, not to mention increased electricity rates for everyone. Virginia, for instance, just joined RGGI and Dominion, its utility, just announced $50/month increase.

With our economy and our citizens already struggling due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the last thing we need to do is enact new taxes and regulations that will do even more harm.

House Bill 2025 now goes to the Senate for consideration. 

PA House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff on RGGI bill 

Pennsylvania's Diverse Energy Portfolio

Pennsylvania’s already diverse energy portfolio has reduced carbon dioxide emissions, according to federal data, by, more than 28% between 2009 and 2016, without “Cap and Trade” or burdensome regulations.* 

Pennsylvania’s varied energy options, from coal, gas, hydro, solar, wind and more, is a strength that provides thousands and thousands of jobs/careers – the governor’s RGGI taxes will cost many of the jobs and raise prices on Pennsylvanian residents. 

Bill sponsor Rep. Jim Struzzi 

* as reported by the United States Energy Information Administration State Carbon Dioxide Emissions Data for Pennsylvania