Updated: Sep 12, 2022
GASP on Monday lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a Senate resolution that would have put a pin in Pennsylvania’s opportunity to enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (otherwise known as RGGI).
“GASP is appreciative of Gov. Wolf for the veto. We have long known that Pennsylvania contributes a disproportionate volume of climate change-causing air pollution in the United States and the time to address the issue is quickly running out,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “There is no denying that we are in a climate emergency. It’s imperative now more than ever that we must take drastic, aggressive action to reduce these air pollutants driving climate change.”
Here’s the press release Wolf’s office issued this afternoon:
Gov. Tom Wolf today vetoed and disapproved Senate Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1, which would have disabled the commonwealth’s opportunity to enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and effectively achieve climate goals and reduce carbon emissions. The concurrent resolution is also procedurally defective, as the General Assembly failed to adopt it within the statutory timeframe prescribed in the Regulatory Review Act.
Pennsylvania is facing a climate crisis. RGGI is a solution that would stimulate the economy to the tune of $2 billion while reducing harmful greenhouse gases. This is a plan that 72 percent of Pennsylvanians support. By reducing air pollution, it would improve public health with 30,000 fewer respiratory hospital visits.
“I am vetoing, disapproving, and returning the Concurrent Resolution because Final Form Regulation 7-559 is a vital step for Pennsylvania to reduce carbon emissions and achieve our climate goals. Addressing the global climate crisis is one of the most important and critical challenges we face.
Final Form Regulation 7-559 authorizes Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) under the authority of the Air Pollution Control Act. While the Republican-controlled General Assembly has failed to take any measures to address climate change, by joining RGGI, my Administration will take a historic, proactive, and progressive approach that will have significant positive environmental, public health, and economic impacts.
In addition to the environmental benefits, participating in this initiative will allow Pennsylvania to make targeted investments that will support workers and communities affected by energy transition.”
With power generation being one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, joining RGGI is a commonsense solution that would have an immediate impact on Pennsylvania’s climate and public health.
Governor Wolf has prioritized addressing climate change, one of the most important global challenges of our lifetime. In 2019, the governor set Pennsylvania’s first statewide climate goals, aiming to reduce greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050. Participating in RGGI would help toward achieving these goals. Learn more about the Wolf Administration’s efforts to address the climate crisis in the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan.