Rachel McDevitt, State Impact,
Pennsylvania is one step closer to joining a regional program meant to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Quality Board on Tuesday approved a draft regulation to enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The vote was 13-6. The board’s vote opens the next phase in the regulatory process. The draft will be open for public comment for a 60-day period. The Department of Environmental Protection plans to hold five hearings. Dates have not been set. DEP will then revise the rule based on public feedback before presenting a final version to EQB. If that’s approved, Pennsylvania could join RGGI by 2022. Under RGGI, power plants buy allowances for the carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit. That makes dirtier sources of power less competitive selling electricity to the grid. They generate less while cleaner sources ramp up, lowering harmful emissions. The 10 northeastern states in RGGI typically invest the money from allowance auctions into energy efficiency and clean energy programs.
Republican lawmakers have also attempted to stop the regulatory process, with some claiming Gov. Tom Wolf overstepped his authority by signing an executive order last year directing DEP to create the regulation. The legislature passed a bill last week requiring legislative approval to join a program such as RGGI, but Wolf said he will veto it.
Full StateImpact Article HERE
See article re Republican lawmakers attempt to stop the regulatory process: Bill blocking Pa. from joining emission-reducing agreement clears Senate