What would joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative mean for Pennsylvania?

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The funny thing about opponents of Pennsylvania’s proposed membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is that the terrible things they say will happen if Pennsylvania joins RGGI are exactly the things that will happen if the Commonwealth doesn’t become a member. Without RGGI:

  • Pennsylvanians’ electric bills will go up.
  • Jobs, commerce, and income will be lost.
  • The health of Pennsylvanians and of the planet will be damaged.

How do we know this? Because we’ve seen the movie before. Since 2008, when RGGI’s original member states began holding auctions to sell emission allowances, their electric bills have increased less than the national average and much less than Pennsylvanians’. Their economies, job numbers, and incomes have grown faster than the nation’s and their emissions have declined faster. Also, modeling of Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI over the next decade quantitatively demonstrates that membership will reduce utility bills, increase jobs, commerce, and income, and cut emissions of pollutants that not only warm the planet, but also make us sicker and less productive.

These findings are explained in a new report from ORVI — THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE: A Common-Sense Guide To RGGI And What It Will Mean For Pennsylvania”.

The report answers eleven common questions about the implications of Pennsylvania’s proposed entry into RGGI:

— What is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and which states belong?
— How does the RGGI emissions trading system work?
— How much revenue will RGGI raise and how will the funds be used?
— By how much will CO2 emissions be reduced under RGGI?
— How would RGGI emissions reductions change Pennsylvania’s energy resource mix?
— What effect will RGGI have on Pennsylvanians’ utility bills?
— What effect will RGGI have on jobs and commerce in Pennsylvania?
— What effects will emissions reductions have on peoples’ health?
— Will some people and communities be harmed if Pennsylvania joins RGGI?
— Will RGGI just shift carbon emissions to Ohio and West Virginia?
— Considering all these factors, Will RGGI membership be good for Pennsylvania?

Please view and download the PDF, share it with friends and colleagues, and feel free to get in touch if you have questions or would like greater detail.