10/07/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/07/2019 09:22
Harrisburg, PA - Advocacy groups, leaders and neighboring states praised Governor Tom Wolf for signing an executive order Thursday that begins the steps necessary for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade program that limits carbon dioxide emissions.
'Pennsylvania innovation powered the industrial revolution, and now we will be a leader in powering a cleaner Earth,' said Gov. Wolf. 'I'm proud to be joining our neighbors in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in our region while continuing to build a robust energy sector.'
Groups and individuals that have praised Gov. Wolf's executive order include:
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
'Thrilled to welcome @PennsylvaniaGov to RGGI! In the face of federal inaction, it's more important than ever for states to tackle climate change and build clean energy economies together. Thank you, @GovernorTomWolf, for joining this fight for a more sustainable future.'
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
'We are in a race to save the planet. It's great to have @governortomwolf and our PA neighbors join us in one of the most effective efforts to transition to the clean energy economy.'
Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
'Great to see @GovernorTomWolf and PA take a major step on climate pollution. While the Trump Administration tries to drag us backwards, states and cities are pressing ahead.'
National Wildlife Federation President Collin O'Mara
'Incredible climate leadership displayed by @GovernorTomWolf directing @PennsylvaniaDEP to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative! This is a common-sense, economically-sound approach that will both reduce carbon pollution & create well-paying jobs.'
'Big news out of Pennsylvania this morning! We applaud @GovernorTomWolf for signing an executive order that will kick-start the process of Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.'
'PennFuture was proud to stand with Gov. Wolf as he signed an executive order to bring Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.'
Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa
'Today's executive order is a strong display of leadership from the Governor on one of the most serious issues facing Pennsylvania, this nation, and the world. Leadership from the federal government is not coming on climate change, and we can't afford to wait.
'I introduced Senate Bill 15 as a legislative option for Pennsylvania to join RGGI, and I'll continue to push for that. I stand with Governor Wolf and all champions for clean air as we work together to find creative, forward-thinking solutions for Pennsylvania.'
Sen. John Yudichak
'I applaud Governor Wolf for initiating the important conversation about Pennsylvania's entry into RGGI which will put Pennsylvania at the forefront of addressing climate change. Climate change is a real, priority level one threat to our environment that deserves the full attention of the legislature that this executive action will require. As DEP begins their outreach, it will be vitally important for them to have an open dialogue with the legislature and I look forward to participating in discussions to effectively and swiftly deal with climate change.'
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney
'Our state will be a leader in addressing this climate emergency-one of the most critical issues in the world today.
'Thank you to @GovernorTomWolf for taking this bold and necessary step.'
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto
'By creating a market-based approach for investment in building energy efficiency, locally-sourced clean and renewable power generation and emissions reduction, Governor Wolf is helping to further innovation, create green jobs and respond strongly to the challenge of climate change.
'Locally, Pennsylvania's inclusion in RGGI will provide Pittsburgh a great resource to help advance the City's 2030 climate targets of 50 percent emissions reduction and 100 percent renewable energy.'
Clean Air Council Executive Director and Chief Counsel Joseph Otis Minott Esq.
'Clean Air Council strongly supports Governor Wolf's Executive Order on RGGI announced this morning, and we thank him for showing leadership on this critical issue. The administration has considerable and flexible legal authority under the Air Pollution Control Act to take this step, and we applaud the governor for doing so. Climate change is an existential threat to us all, and we are already seeing the devastating impacts play out across Pennsylvania each and every day. With one of the dirtiest electric power sectors in the country, Pennsylvania starting down the path of joining RGGI represents real progress in our efforts to achieve Governor Wolf's emissions reduction goals.
'Our power sector is responsible for over one-third of Pennsylvania's net greenhouse gas emissions and, for deep decarbonization efforts to work, the electric sector is absolutely key to the process. We have also seen other RGGI states make critical investments in solar, wind, and energy efficiency, while achieving broad-based benefits for their residents. We look forward to working with the Wolf administration and all stakeholders as this important rulemaking process moves ahead, achieving similar successes that benefit all Pennsylvanians, especially low-income ratepayers.'
Natural Resources Defense Council
'Great news out of PA! Turning away from its fossil fuel past, the Keystone State is preparing to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-a significant win for our climate and public health.'
Nuclear Powers Pennsylvania Member and Senior Vice President of Framatome Inc. Tony Robinson
'Members of our statewide coalition thank Gov. Wolf for his leadership on this critical issue. Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions in the nation, so joining RGGI is a logical and commendable step for Pennsylvania. We further believe this has great potential to properly value the carbon-free benefits of nuclear energy in the Commonwealth and could perhaps be part of the solution that would prevent the premature closure of the Beaver Valley Power Station now scheduled for 2021.'
Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) Executive Director Matt Elliott
'KEEA applauds Governor Wolf for taking this bold step for Pennsylvania's energy future. As a trade association representing nearly 70 companies engaged in the energy efficiency industry, KEEA member businesses stand ready to help meet the goals of the climate policy by helping Pennsylvania businesses and households save on their energy bills with more efficient appliances, buildings, lighting, and more.
'By not participating in RGGI, Pennsylvania has been leaving money on the table and forgoing economic development opportunities for years. But we have to get this right: investing RGGI revenue back into energy efficiency programs for businesses and residents is the only way to save consumers money and grow the economy while maximizing reductions to carbon pollution. We look forward to working with Governor Wolf and the Legislature to seize this opportunity and make an historic investment into energy efficiency in Pennsylvania.'
Clean Power PA Coalition
'Today's announcement is one we had been hoping was the next step in Governor Wolf's plan to make Pennsylvania a leader on climate solutions, following an Executive Order setting carbon emissions reduction goals for the first time as well as a commitment to participation in the U.S. Climate Alliance. We look forward to working with Governor Wolf to ensure the success of RGGI in Pennsylvania and a brighter future for all its residents.'
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
'Governor Wolf's proposal to bring Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Initiative (RGGI), announced today, is the first concrete and meaningful step that the Commonwealth has taken to directly address its role in exacerbating climate change. For that, the Governor is to be congratulated.'
PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center Executive Director David Masur
'We applaud Gov. Wolf for this important act. RGGI is a valuable program that offers key mechanisms for reducing pollution and fighting climate change. Joining our neighboring states to the north, east and south in this alliance can create a healthier, more vibrant region with clean air that transcends borders.
'After the climate strikes and U.N. Climate Summit in recent weeks, many Pennsylvanians wondered what could be done right here in our state. Gov. Wolf is providing a bold answer. Given a choice between living in the past with dirty fuels or being on the right side of history, Pennsylvania's leaders are showing they're ready to do what's right and protect our communities and future generations across the state.'
Environment America Research & Policy Center Senior Director for Global Warming Solutions Campaign Andrea McGimsey
'The expected announcement by Gov. Wolf marks a key milestone for Pennsylvania. RGGI has proven to be a crucial tool in reducing pollution from fossil fuel power plants, and it is a critical and significant response to global warming.
'Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we need to fight it with every tool at our disposal. The expansion of RGGI is a big step forward, but we can't stop there. We call on Pennsylvania's leaders to build on this momentum and take the next logical steps, including a stronger commitment to renewable energy and climate-friendly transportation. With those efforts, the commonwealth can solidify its position as a national leader on this vital issue.'
Conservation Voters of PA Executive Director Josh McNeil
'For centuries, Pennsylvania has been among the world's worst carbon polluters, but today Governor Wolf took a vital step towards a better future. Joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will make our Commonwealth cleaner and more prosperous, while offering hope to our kids and grandkids. There is still tremendous work to do to implement this plan and miles to go to stave off climate change, but when future generations look back and judge our actions, today will be a day we can all be proud of.'
Ceres Senior Manager of State Policy Alli Gold Roberts
'While joining RGGI is an important first step, we know that it is not enough to mitigate the impacts of climate change and transition to a thriving clean energy economy. We urge state lawmakers to expand complementary policies that ensure clean energy investments happen in Pennsylvania and provide a just transition for communities and industries. With forward-thinking policies in place, the Commonwealth will be well positioned to capture the economic benefits of the clean energy and clean transportation future. Ceres looks forward to working with state leaders on both sides of the aisle to implement RGGI while growing local jobs and investments in clean energy, in a way that works for Pennsylvania's residents and businesses alike.'
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos
'Congratulations to Pennsylvania @GovernorTomWolf for joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. #RGGI has been a powerful tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; now stronger with PA's involvment. Kudos @PennsylvaniaDEP. @NYGovCuomo @NYSDEC @NYSERDA @abartontweets'
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
'Welcome @GovernorTomWolf and @PennsylvaniaDEP to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). We look forward to working together in lowering greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change.'
Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp
'Decisive, concrete action from @GovernorTomWolf. Excellent. Development of regs will lead to tangible reductions in Pennsylvania's climate pollution. We need less rhetoric, more action like this.'
Professor and Director of the Penn State Penn State Earth System Science Center Michael E. Mann
'Kudos to @GovernorTomWolf for signing an executive order this morning instructing the Pennsylvania DEP to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)!'
Evangelical Environmental Network President the Rev. Mitch Hescox
'We are grateful for Governor Wolf's leadership and hope the General Assembly will join him in support of RGGI. With the General Assembly working with the Governor, the estimated $350 million in RGGI receipts could be used to support Pennsylvania's nuclear fleet, energy efficiency, and to help clean up Pennsylvania's dirty air to benefit our children's health and improve their quality of life. RGGI is a market-based plan that all conservatives should embrace for a thriving, clean, and healthy future that includes the protection of low-income families.'
To see the steps being taken, view the full Executive Order.