Pennsylvania, a top contributor to climate change, needs these carbon pollution cuts more than ever

| 06 Apr 2022 | 05:18

    To the Editor:

    Pennsylvania is creating a program to cut the carbon pollution that comes from electric power plants. This pollution is a leading contributor to climate change, and Pennsylvania produces more of it than all but four other states in the country. This program would be part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state, bipartisan program that is a success in 10 other states.

    Pennsylvania needs these pollution cuts now more than ever. The impacts of climate change, like stronger storms and more flooding, are already hitting our state. Climate change also is harming Pennsylvanians’ health. Higher temperatures make smog worse, threatening children and adults with respiratory and cardiac problems. Heat-related deaths are expected to increase as well.

    RGGI would make a major dent in Pennsylvania’s carbon pollution, reducing it by 25% by 2030. Since power companies would pay under the program for the pollution they create, funds will be available to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, which would cut pollution even further, reduce consumers’ electric bills, and create jobs. That is exactly what’s occurred in the other RGGI states.

    Cleaner air, better health, and new investments to boost Pennsylvania’s economy: exactly what we need right now. There’s no reason our legislators shouldn’t do everything in their power to ensure RGGI proceeds are invested in sustainable, clean energy projects in our communities. Unfortunately, my legislators Rep. Mike Peifer and Sen. Lisa Baker are against this program and want to continue investing in fossil fuels.

    I strongly urge all PA state legislators to oppose anti-RGGI bills like HB637 and SB119.

    John Hahn