Green Building United and the Clean Power PA Coalition today praised Governor Tom Wolf’s directive for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and limit carbon emissions from the commonwealth’s power sector, issuing the following statement in response:
“Today Governor Wolf exercised bold action in committing to join the RGGI program and move forward on a solution that will help tackle the climate crisis in Pennsylvania and beyond. Governor Wolf is building a strong foundation for Pennsylvania to not only address its largest source of climate-disrupting pollution, but also transition to clean and renewable power that will improve public health, protect our environment and ensure a vibrant, sustainable economy.
“RGGI has a proven track record of success for limiting carbon emissions from participating states’ power sectors and we are excited that Pennsylvania will be joining its ranks. According to recent research from the Acadia Center, carbon emissions from power plants in RGGI states have fallen by 47%, significantly outpacing the rest of the country. In addition, RGGI states have boosted energy efficiency and renewable energy through smart investments of program funds, while seeing their economies thrive."
“We must begin the transition away from fossil fuel energy here in Pennsylvania right now, and we must do so in a manner that protects Pennsylvania ratepayers and ensures a just transition for workers. Joining RGGI is a concrete step forward in this process, and we hope to see a program design that maximizes the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to further drive carbon emission reductions over the course of Pennsylvania’s RGGI engagement.
“Today’s announcement is one we had been hoping was the next step in Governor Wolf’s plan to make Pennsylvania a leader on climate solutions, following an Executive Order setting carbon emissions reduction goals for the first time as well as a commitment to participation in the U.S. Climate Alliance. We look forward to working with Governor Wolf to ensure the success of RGGI in Pennsylvania and a brighter future for all its residents.”
Green Building United has seen the success of a state's participation in RGGI, through their work with the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility - Energize Delaware. We've been fortunate to work with Delaware in achieving their RGGI goals by providing energy efficiency service to K-12 schools across the state. Through the Delaware Pathways to Green Schools program, we've identified over $5 million worth of energy cost savings and have avoided 1,553 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. We're excited to see what energy efficiency and clean energy programs will be possible due to PA's joining of this regional initiative.