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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the single most effective vehicle to help achieve Governor Shapiro’s goal to “address climate change, protect and create energy jobs, and ensure Pennsylvania has reliable, affordable, and clean power for the long term.” 


RGGI will cap carbon pollution from power plants and generate revenues that can be used to create jobs and make our economy cleaner and stronger.


But Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg are misleading the public to protect polluters and stop this program that has succeeded in the 11 other states where it is already in place. 


Don’t fall for the falsehoods. 

Republican lawmakers say Pennsylvania doesn’t need RGGI


  • Pennsylvania is the fourth-highest emitter of harmful carbon pollution among U.S. states.

  • Carbon pollution from electricity increased by nearly 10% in Pennsylvania last year, to its highest level since 2016.  

  • Total carbon pollution in Pennsylvania is projected to rise nearly 25% by 2026 unless we take action.

  • Air pollution from power plants is accelerating the climate crisis and harming Pennsylvanians’ health, especially those with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

RGGI will cut carbon pollution by as much as 227 million tons. That’s the clean air equivalent of removing 4 million vehicles from our roadways.

Republican lawmakers say RGGI will  make our electricity system less reliable


  • Pennsylvania's experience with Winter Storm Elliott’s extreme cold snap last Christmas showed that fossil fuels fail under extreme cold, when the extra power is needed most. 

  • In the PJM Interconnection power grid, which includes Pennsylvania, 46 GW of power plants were out of service during the storm, enough to power all of California. 

  • Nearly all of this (about 87%) was caused by coal and gas system failures, such as frozen compressors at gas plants. 

  • PJM called the failure rate  “unacceptably high.” 

  • Gas plants, which account for less than 40% of electricity generation in the PJM network, accounted for 70% of the failure. 

  • These largely fossil fuel failures may have added hundreds of millions of dollars to electricity bills. PJM is considering up to $2 billion in penalties. 

RGGI will help stop our over-reliance on gas, and instead move to a more diverse power supply portfolio to be better prepared for the next winter storm, summer heat wave, or devastating hurricane.

Republican lawmakers say joining to RGGI will cost  Pennsylvania jobs


  • RGGI will create 30,000 Pennsylvania jobs.  

  • Opponents claim that RGGI will cause the few remaining coal-fired plants to close, but those plants are slated to close already because they can't compete with cheaper gas and renewables.

  • With or without RGGI, coal will generate only 4% of the state’s electricity by 2030.

  • As other coal plants have closed in Pennsylvania, there has been little or no support from the owners or government. Their workers and communities were left to fend for themselves.

  • As has been done in other RGGI states, proceeds can be used here in Pennsylvania to help the workers and communities at the remaining plants that are inevitably closing, even without RGGI.

Expert analysis found that RGGI will create 30,000 PA jobs and will boost the state’s economy by nearly $2 billion. RGGI can provide resources to ensure communities affected by the energy transition get assistance.

Republican lawmakers say RGGI will cause big increases in utility bills


  • States that have participated in RGGI have seen their consumer electric costs go down, while electric costs nationally increased.

  • While electricity prices went up by about 8.6% around the country in the decade after RGGI began,  electricity prices dropped 5.7% in RGGI states during the same period.

  • In the last year, electricity bills rose more in Pennsylvania (8.1%) than in RGGI states (6.8%) 

  • Projections that RGGI will increase electricity prices are based on cherry-picked data from groups like the Commonwealth Foundation and the Caesar Rodney Institute, which are both part of a Koch brother-funded network that actively opposes clean air and climate protections.

RGGI proceeds can be used to cut energy costs for families and businesses. Energy efficiency investments in RGGI states have produced nearly $13.5 billion in consumer energy bill savings, a return on investment of $5 to $1.

Here's the truth about RGGI

Pennsylvania must not walk away from RGGI. Pennsylvanians will see reduced air pollution, lower emergency room and doctor visits, that will save millions in health care costs, 30,000 new jobs, and utility savings for consumers.
The energy markets are inexorably moving toward cleaner, safer, and cheaper renewable sources. Pennsylvania can move forward with RGGI and be a leader in that progress and reap the jobs, business investment, and consumer benefits that come with that. Or it can hang on to the past, protect polluters, and be left behind.

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