Following Governor Wolf’s veto of Senate Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1 yesterday, more than half a dozen clean energy, environment, faith, sustainability, and immigration advocacy organizations have expressed their support for the disapproval of the concurrent resolution, which would have prevented Pennsylvania from entering the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Participating in RGGI in an opportunity for Pennsylvania to address the ongoing climate crisis and improve health for all Pennsylvanians.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Climate & Clean Energy Program
“Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 was an anti-climate resolution that would have prevented Pennsylvania from realizing the pollution reductions, job creation opportunities, and economic development offered by RGGI. Gov. Wolf’s veto of the resolution is a signal of his support for a clean and healthy future for our people, our environment, and our economy.
As the climate crisis worsens and Pennsylvania sees more climate disasters, it’s time for the General Assembly to stop its obstructionism and delay tactics. The General Assembly should instead ensure the equitable investment of RGGI proceeds in environmental justice communities and energy transition communities by passing the RGGI Investments Act,” said Mark Szybist, senior attorney.
“This resolution is the latest attempt by lawmakers to obstruct the will of Pennsylvanians. A strong and growing majority in the commonwealth support climate action and Gov. Wolf is following through after more than a decade of legislative neglect,” said Rob Altenburg, PennFuture’s Senior Director for Energy and Climate. “PennFuture strongly supports Pennsylvania enacting a carbon reduction program that creates jobs and invests in communities historically plagued by pollution and decades of fossil fuel industry malfeasance.”
Clean Air Council
“I applaud Gov. Wolf for swiftly using his veto pen to reject SCRRR-1 and push back on dangerous legislative inaction on the climate crisis. Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI is projected to cut up to 227 million tons of carbon pollution from power plants this decade, while creating family-sustaining jobs, generating hundreds of millions of dollars annually for reinvestment in Pennsylvania communities, and delivering billions of dollars in public health benefits. Because of the cynical and outrageous games played by state legislators in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI has already been unacceptably delayed.
Not only is SCRRR-1 wrong on the substance and rightfully deserving of a veto, but it is also untimely and should be considered null and void. Pennsylvania’s Regulatory Review Act affords the legislature a clear, unambiguous period of time to vote to disapprove regulations, and the General Assembly missed their deadline to adopt SCRRR-1 by a mile. I thank Gov. Wolf for his leadership and urge the legislature to focus instead on making critical investments for the people of Pennsylvania,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director and Chief Counsel.
“Thank you to Gov. Wolf for rejecting this misguided resolution and protecting this critical action to cut carbon pollution, cut consumer energy costs, and create jobs through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). With this veto, he is standing with the overwhelmingly majority of Pennsylvanians who support RGGI and standing up for the public’s health and for the state’s economic future.
The governor’s veto aligns with Pennsylvanians’ desire to tackle climate change and invest in the high-quality clean energy jobs of the future. RGGI also will generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually, which could be used to help communities and workers affected by the continuing transition in our energy markets. Without RGGI, they could be left behind,” said board member John Neurohr, Jr.
“It’s extremely disappointing to see the legislature attempt to block Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. We thank Gov. Wolf for his steadfast commitment to RGGI, and we will continue to fully support him in defending the program, including the veto of this misguided resolution,” said Clean Energy Program Director for the Pennsylvania Chapter, Tom Schuster. “Our elected leaders need to act on climate change now. The longer they wait to reduce emissions, the more drastic measures we’ll have to take to avoid catastrophic climate disruption.”
Evangelical Environmental Network
“Dirty air has grave consequences for the health of our children and other vulnerable populations, like the elderly,” said Rev. Mitchell Hescox, president and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. “That’s why I support Gov. Wolf’s plan to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that will apply market-based solutions to reduce the health impacts from power plant pollution, helping boost jobs and save precious lives in Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania Environmental Council & Environmental Defense Fund
“We commend Gov. Wolf for vetoing Senate Concurrent Regulatory Review Resolution 1 and continuing the commitment toward reduction of harmful carbon dioxide emissions from the electric generation sector. This is an important market-based step that will prepare and position Pennsylvania for a successful energy future. We urge the General Assembly to shift their time and attention toward advancing constructive policies that cut pollution, diversify our energy supply, benefit consumers, and provide new investment and employment opportunities in clean energy business and deployment.”
Immigrant advocacy organization CASA said in a tweet, “Great news! Gov. Wolf’s veto aligns with Pennsylvanians’ desire to tackle climate change and invest in high-quality clean energy jobs of the future. RGGI will generate hundreds of millions annually and help communities and workers affected by the energy transition.”
Sustainability advocates at Ceres tweeted, “Gov. Wolf stood up for PA’s public health and economic future. His veto means that by joining RGGI, PA can add 27,000 new jobs and boost the economy by nearly $2 billion. It also will reduce asthma attacks and other health problems.”
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.