The Lead

GOP lawmaker plans to introduce bill to ‘eliminate’ RGGI regulation

By: - February 22, 2023 6:30 am

The Homer City Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant in Indiana County, which closed in 2023 (Capital-Star photo).

Nearly a year after Pennsylvania formally joined the multi-state carbon-reduction compact known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), one lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation to eliminate the regulation and prevent others like it. 

State Reps. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, and Dallas Kephart, R-Clearfield, said in a co-sponsorship memo that they want to “eliminate the RGGI regulation and prevent future similar proposals from proceeding without legislative approval.”

The program, which former Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania would join through an executive order in 2019, has been the subject of continued controversy with legal challenges questioning the governor’s authority to join such an agreement without the consent of the General Assembly.

​​In July 2022, just months after Pennsylvania formally joined the compact, the Commonwealth Court issued an order, blocking the state from continuing its efforts to join RGGI until the court ruled on its constitutionality. 

In November, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court heard oral arguments in two “separate but related” cases regarding RGGI and its constitutionality. The appellate court has yet to issue a ruling in those cases. 

In the memo, Struzzi and Kephart argued that the bill to eliminate RGGI would address concerns about the program that then-gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro expressed on the campaign trail, including its potential impact on consumers and its effect on energy industry jobs. 

“When Governor Shapiro was still a candidate for the office, he stated that he had real concerns about the impact that RGGI will have on consumer prices and that he is not sure that RGGI passes the test of protecting and creating energy jobs and ensuring that Pennsylvania has reliable, clean, and affordable power,” they wrote.

“This legislation aligns with candidate Shapiro’s stated concerns and will allow Governor Shapiro to support union workers and energy consumers throughout the Commonwealth by refocusing Pennsylvania’s energy policies on initiatives that benefit our Commonwealth.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.