Pennsylvania Lawmakers Move to Block Newly Cleared Climate Regulations


No sooner did a Pennsylvania state commission narrowly approve new climate regulations this week than state lawmakers advanced a resolution to prevent those rules from taking effect.

The five-member Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to approve “cap and trade” regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions, endorsed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in an executive order in October 2019.

Republicans on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted Thursday to approve a concurrent resolution to spike the regulations. They were joined by state Rep. Pam Snyder, a Democrat, whose district includes Greene, Fayette, and Washington counties.

The regulations would enable Pennsylvania to become part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate agreement to address climate change that includes 11 New England and mid-Atlantic states.

Government regulators in participating states compel electric utilities to purchase carbon allowances at quarterly auctions whenever the power companies surpass the cap on carbon dioxide emissions established by RGGI, as the pact is known.

During the Wednesday meeting, Commissioner John Soroko made a motion to disapprove of the regulations, which failed 3-2. Commissioner Murray Ufberg then made a motion to approve the regulations, which passed 3-2.

The Pennsylvania …read more