What you need to know
- Gov. Josh Shapiro says he will appeal a court ruling that blocked a state regulation that would have required Pennsylvania power plant owners to pay for greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
- Still, Democrats on Tuesday urged lawmakers to start considering better alternatives. In a statement, Shapiro did not commit to enforcing the regulations if his administration wins an appeal in the state Supreme Court. His administration says his appeal is based on the need to maintain executive authority.
- The lawsuit centers on former Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to combat global warming and make Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel producing state to implement a carbon pricing system.
Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration on Tuesday ordered Pennsylvania power plant owners to take action against greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, even as Democrats warned lawmakers to start considering better alternatives. The company announced it is appealing a court ruling that blocked state regulations requiring the payments.
In a statement, Shapiro did not commit to enforcing the regulations if his administration wins an appeal before the Democratic-controlled state Supreme Court. His appeal revolves around the need to preserve executive power, the administration said.
But he urged lawmakers to develop an alternative plan.
“Now is the time to act,” Shapiro’s office said. “Doing nothing is not an acceptable option.”
But action seemed unlikely because Republicans, who control the state Senate, criticized Shapiro’s decision to appeal, saying it would prevent meaningful debate on energy and environmental policy.
Environmental advocates praised the appeal.
The lawsuit centers on former Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to combat global warming and make Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel producing state to implement a carbon pricing system.
In a Nov. 1 ruling, a 4-1 majority of the commonwealth court ruled against Republican lawmakers and coal stakeholders who argued that Wolf’s carbon pricing plan amounted to a tax and therefore required legislative approval. Agreed.
Wolf, a Democrat, tried to circumvent legislative opposition by imposing this requirement through regulation in violation of the Constitution, opponents said.
The regulation would allow Pennsylvania to participate in a multistate regional greenhouse gas initiative that imposes prices and caps on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
Mr. Shapiro has criticized this, but he has not explicitly said whether he would enforce it if he wins in court. Shapiro’s message to lawmakers on Tuesday also did not mention his need to fight climate change.
Instead, he pitched the issue in other words, calling it “common sense energy policy” and said he would sign off on another carbon pricing plan if approved by Congress.
“If legislative leaders choose to engage in a constructive dialogue, the governor is confident that they can agree on a stronger alternative to RGGI,” Shapiro’s office said in a statement. . To advance common sense energy policies that protect Pennsylvania’s jobs, environment and consumers. ”
Such a plan remains unlikely to pass the state Legislature, as the Republican-controlled Senate has protected the nation’s second-largest gas state’s local coal and natural gas industries.
Republican lawmakers welcomed the court’s decision to block the ban and urged Mr. Shapiro not to appeal.
Instead, Republicans are pushing for more opportunities for energy production in the state, and the regulations would raise electricity prices, hurt energy producers in the state, drive new generation to other states, and reduce climate change. They warn that it will do little to combat change.
Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman, a Republican from Indiana County, said in a statement that the appeal was “misguided.”
“Governor Shapiro’s actions further jeopardize employed families and impede meaningful debate on energy and environmental policy in the Pennsylvania General Assembly,” Pittman said. “We must stand with working families who are suffering from pressures from higher levels.” electric bill. ”
In the House, where Democrats hold a one-seat majority, a carbon pricing system would also be part of Mr. Shapiro’s most clearly defined clean energy goal, which is to ensure that 30% of Pennsylvania’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030. No pledges have been submitted either. I came to vote.
Supporters of the regulation included solar, wind, and nuclear power producers as well as environmentalists.
They call this the biggest step ever taken in Pennsylvania to combat climate change and say it will generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually to promote climate-friendly energy sources and reduce electricity bills through energy efficiency programs. Stated.
Opponents included natural gas stakeholders, industrial and commercial electricity users, and labor unions whose membership includes construction and maintenance of pipelines, power plants, and refineries.
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https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international/changing-climate/pa-governor-appeals-decision-blocking-plan-to-make-power-plants-pay-for-greenhouse-gases/3702372/ Gov. Josh Shapiro appeals decision blocking plan to require power plants to pay for greenhouse gases – NBC10 Philadelphia