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Governor Shapiro appeals Commonwealth Court RGGI decision

Governor Shapiro appeals Commonwealth Court RGGI decision

Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration announced it will appeal the Commonwealth Court’s decision to block Pennsylvania from entering the controversial Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program.

The Commonwealth Court struck down RGGI at the beginning of November finding the fee for emissions allowances was a tax, which must be levied by the state legislature. The Court ruled RGGI is “invalid and unenforceable,” and that the DEP does not have the constitutional authority to collect revenue.

A statement released by Shapiro’s administration states the Commonwealth Court decisions on RGGI were “limited to questions of executive authority” and states the administration must protect “important authority for this Administration and all future governors.”

RGGI is one of Governor Tom Wolf’s signature environmental proposals. Republican lawmakers have said they believe RGGI will make Pennsylvania less competitive as an energy producer.

States participating in RGGI agree to cap the amount of carbon that energy producers release, with the cap decreasing over time. States keep the proceeds from sales of emissions allowances under the cap. In Pennsylvania, that revenue was proposed to fund other pollution-reduction initiatives.

Shapiro has not stated definitively whether or not he will enforce RGGI if he wins the appeal. He instead says he hopes the legislature can find a solution.

The statement from Shapiro’s administration states “should legislative leaders choose to engage in constructive dialogue, the governor is confident we can agree on a stronger alternative to RGGI.”


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