Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC

Environmental Alert

(By Kevin Garber and Jessica Deyoe)

On February 2, 2024, Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw introduced SB 1058 to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative CO2 Budget Trading Program regulation that the Environmental Quality Board promulgated in 2022. Senator Yaw stated that “RGGI is wrong for Pennsylvania” and believes that Pennsylvania would be better suited by an “environmentally responsible energy policy that recognizes and champions Pennsylvania as an energy producer.” He further stated that RGGI would leave thousands of Pennsylvanians struggling to pay their utility bills and would have a detrimental impact on the reliability of the region’s electric grid.

In part, this bill comes as a response to Governor Shapiro’s appeal of a November 2023 ruling by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, which held that the RGGI regulation was an unconstitutional tax and declared the rule to be void. See Bowfin KeyCon Holdings, LLC et al v. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (No. 247 M.D. 2022). It also comes not long after members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly met with members of the Ohio General Assembly to discuss the reliability of the mid-Atlantic power grid PJM manages. PJM is the regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia. PJM projects 20 percent of its existing capacity will retire before 2030.

Earlier, on December 12, 2023, Senator Yaw introduced SB 832 to create an Independent Energy Office in Pennsylvania.  The Office would be a nonpartisan independent agency committed to providing at least one statewide energy report to each legislative session that reviews the use of fossil fuels, renewable energy, and nuclear power to meet the Commonwealth’s energy needs and working with the General Assembly to establish a statewide energy plan.

For more information on RGGI or other related matters, please contact Kevin Garber at (412) 394-5404 or kgarber@babstcalland.com, Jessica Deyoe at (202) 853-3489 or jdeyoe@babstcalland.com, or any of our other environmental attorneys.