There is no denying that the impacts of climate change – stronger storms, increased flooding, drought, and other unnatural disasters, are already hitting our state. Millions of people are affected by these events, losing their homes, livelihood, and health. They could be you or me.
Carbon pollution from electric power plants is a leading contributor, and Pennsylvania produces more of it than all but four states in the country. But there is good news: Solutions to climate change abound and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is one of them. Pennsylvania must be allowed to join.
RGGI is an effort among 11 states to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants within their bounds through a regional cap on carbon pollution. These states have reduced emissions by more than 50% — twice as fast as the national average — and raised over $4 billion to invest into local communities. RGGI would make a major dent in Pennsylvania’s carbon pollution, reducing it by 25% by 2030, while creating over 27,000 jobs and adding nearly $2 billion to our economy (rggi.org and news.bloomberglaw.com).
By delaying joining RGGI this year, Pennsylvania missed out on over $250 million in revenue. Currently, RGGI’s fate is in the hands of the courts. If the courts rightfully decide Pennsylvania can join, I urge our legislators not to further obstruct it – they do their constituents a disservice by not investing in their communities and by denying us this opportunity to be a part of the solution to climate change.
Martha Gopal, Langhorne