The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is now accepting public comments on the Governor’s proposal to have Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), according to Senator Joe Pittman, who is urging local residents and business leaders to actively participate in the process.
The EQB is accepting comments electronically through DEP’s eComment system or e-mail at RegComments@pa.gov through January 14. A subject heading of “CO2 Budget Trading Program” and a return name and address must be included in each submission. Written comments may be submitted by mail to: Environmental Quality Board, P.O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477.
The board will also hold 10 virtual public hearings from December 8 through 14. The hearing schedule and information on how to participate is available at: https://www.dep.pa.gov/PublicParticipation/EnvironmentalQuality/Pages/default.aspx.
“It is extremely important for local participation in this comment process. The Board must be made fully aware of the devastating impact RGGI would have on our communities,” Senator Pittman said. “The proponents of RGGI will gloss over –or even ignore — the destabilizing effect it would have on our regional economy and across the Commonwealth. And, they will definitely downplay the resulting loss of thousands of family sustaining jobs. The Board must understand that this must be more than an esoteric, partisan exercise to please a few radicals. Our community must work together to stress that this carbon tax does not benefit Pennsylvania and the good people who call it home.”
Under his edict, Governor Wolf directed the Department of Environmental Protection to join RGGI — a collaboration of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. The states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) set a cap on total Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from electric power generators in their states. In order to comply, power plants must purchase a credit or “allowance” for each ton of CO2 they emit.
If Pennsylvania joins RGGI, it would be the only major energy producing state in the compact and the resulting carbon tax on employers engaged in electric generation would devastate that industry and cost thousands of jobs.
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