Pennsylvania Joining RGGI Faces Legal, Political Risk 2023

A new analysis investigates the effects on the economy and the climate of Pennsylvania’s potential participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is now being held up in court.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, better known by its acronym RGGI, was the United States very first large carbon market to be formed.

Since it was first established in 2009, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has made a contribution to the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases produced by the power industry in a market that currently encompasses 11 eastern states. However, recent developments have resulted in RGGI’s growth in Pennsylvania coming to a halt.

Joining RGGI is fraught with legal and political risk for Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is one of the top emitters of carbon dioxide in the United States and is also a state in which the debate on the future of the energy sector and the roles that will be played by fossil fuels and clean energy has been particularly heated.

Authors of a recent research on the predicted economic and climatic implications of Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI explain their results and explore the political and legal fights that are currently taking place for the market’s future in the state.

The analysis was commissioned in response to a request from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. That future may eventually rest in the hands of a newly elected governor who inherited RGGI from his predecessor, but who has not yet made a public commitment to the growth of the market.

However, before that can happen, a ruling must first be reached by a state court regarding the legitimacy of Pennsylvania’s participation in the RGGI market.

At the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Angela Pachon is in charge of research as the director. Maya Domeshek is currently employed with Resources for the Future as a research associate.

The Kleinman Center and Resources for the Future collaborated in order to produce their most current paper, which is titled “The Prospects for Pennsylvania as a Member of RGGI.”

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