Nov. 17, 2020

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) today announced that the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has passed his resolution opposing Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). House Resolution 1088, if adopted by the House, would be sent to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) as the House’s formal disapproval of Wolf’s plan.

On Oct. 3, 2019, the governor issued an executive order directing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to begin the process of joining RGGI. The initiative would establish a regional cap on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution that power plants can emit by establishing a trading system. Each unit of trade, known as an allowance, would represent authorization for a power plant to emit one short ton (2,000 pounds) of CO2. Power plants in RGGI member states can trade allowances, preventing the total amount of CO2 emissions in the region from increasing. RGGI would also establish a carbon tax on fossil fuel users for the resulting CO2 emissions.

“If Pennsylvania joins RGGI, we will quickly see thousands of family-sustaining jobs lost in our Commonwealth due to the closure of coal-fired electric generating units and older natural gas plants. The economic repercussions would be felt throughout Pennsylvania as we see thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in local and state tax revenue lost,” said Struzzi. “The jobs that we lose will go directly to our neighboring states who are not a part of RGGI, and our remaining natural gas-fired plants will be put at a competitive disadvantage because of our participation.”

On Sep. 24, Wolf vetoed House Bill 2025, also authored by Struzzi. The bill would have required legislative approval before Pennsylvania could join into RGGI or any similar multi-state compact. The General Assembly had passed the bill with bipartisan majorities of 130-71 in the House and 33-17 in the Senate.

“A carbon tax such as RGGI can only be initiated by the General Assembly,” Struzzi continued. “This initiative is a major energy and fiscal policy decision, which must be made by the legislative branch of government with the input of the people.”

Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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