FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Environmental Organizations Stand by RGGI
HARRISBURG – (October 27, 2021) – An alliance of environmental organizations issued the following statement on Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s remarks on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI):
Pennsylvanians are facing a climate crisis and the question isn’t RGGI versus some other plan. It’s RGGI versus doing nothing. The climate-denying majority in the state legislature has no plan. Instead of being proactive to protect our communities from climate disasters, the legislature has given billions in public tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. RGGI is the boldest action that Pennsylvania will have taken to combat climate change. Governor Wolf took this step via rulemaking because our state environmental agency has comprehensive and flexible statutory authority to do so, and because the legislature is missing in action on the climate crisis and refuses to hold polluters accountable. We agree more could be done but doing nothing is not an option.
Josh Shapiro has said that, as governor, he wants to make sure that the state’s energy strategy takes real action on climate change, creates jobs, and ensures reliable, affordable, and clean power. When anyone reviews the facts about RGGI presented through the nearly two year rulemaking process, RGGI clearly passes that test. Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support actions like RGGI to confront the climate challenge while creating jobs. We are confident that Josh Shapiro will reach the same conclusion if he becomes our next governor.
"RGGI is one of the most important pathways Pennsylvania has to cut our carbon pollution, invest in Black, Brown, and low-income communities, and create good-paying, union jobs,” said Molly Parzen, Interim Director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania." Josh Shapiro has held polluters accountable as Attorney General. We expect him to be a champion for our clean energy future and to stand by his commitment to climate action and actions like RGGI as governor. As RGGI faces a serious threat from climate change-denying legislators in Harrisburg, we all need to continue to stand together in this fight for our future and our children’s future.”
Joseph Otis Minott, President, Clean Air Action Fund, said "Clean Air Action Fund firmly believes that Pennsylvania participation in RGGI provides a unique, historic opportunity in 2022 and into the next administration to create high-paying, family-sustaining jobs in the clean energy sector. All while delivering billions of dollars in public health benefits for Pennsylvanians and cutting pollution that will help protect the Commonwealth from devastating flood risks and extreme storms like Hurricane Ida."
"Josh Shapiro has shown throughout his elected official career that he recognizes climate change as one of the most important challenges of our time," said Steve Hvozdovich, Pennsylvania Campaigns for Clean Water Action. "We encourage Josh to sit down with our organizations to discuss the misinformation out there surrounding RGGI and to release his broader plan for addressing climate change to provide Pennsylvanians with a vision of the positive direction he'll take our Commonwealth compared to his potential Republican opponents."
"The time for debate has passed and Pennsylvania’s leaders cannot continue to turn away from proven solutions to the climate crisis. The eleven other states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have given the Commonwealth a model for action that will generate the investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, and worker transition Pennsylvanians sorely needs,” said Tom Torres, Executive Director of the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter. “If Josh Shapiro becomes our next governor, we expect him to remain committed to RGGI and to take even bolder steps to address the climate crisis, to accelerate our transition to clean energy, and expand on the many thousands of family-sustaining jobs that RGGI would provide.”
Ashleigh Deemer, Deputy Director of PennEnvironment shared, “Climate change is the existential crisis of our lifetime, and Pennsylvania is one of the largest culprits, with the 4th largest carbon footprint in the country. It's crucial that our elected officials and candidates-- democrats and republicans alike-- support every tool in the toolbox for solving this problem.”