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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 6, 2019 11:03 AM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Energy Innovation and Investment Act -- Cap and Invest
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that will continually reduce carbon pollution from Pennsylvania’s power sector to fight global climate change, safeguard the well-being of current and future generations of Pennsylvanians, improve local air quality, and ensure that Pennsylvania is economically competitive in a clean energy future.

The federal government has abdicated responsibility on climate change— states, local governments, private companies and citizens must take the lead in enacting equitable policies to mitigate the growing impacts of climate change

Pennsylvania has already made important strides towards reducing greenhouse gases, and mayors from Pennsylvania’s two largest cities have already committed to reducing carbon emissions. But more work is needed to achieve the emission reductions targeted by Governor Wolf’s Executive Order 2019-01, “Commonwealth Leadership in Addressing Climate Change and Promoting Energy Conservation and Sustainable Governance,” and to make sure Pennsylvania isn’t left behind in the burgeoning growth of clean energy technologies and jobs.

My legislation will instruct the Environmental Quality Board to reduce carbon pollution emissions from the electric power sector – the largest source of emissions in Pennsylvania – by at least 90% by 2040 relative to baseline emissions. The Board can develop a market-based carbon pollution limit, which ensures a technology neutral, flexible approach that incentivizes the most cost-effective emission reductions and generates revenue for investments in economic development, workforce training, energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy affordability. This will be known as a cap and invest program.

The legislation also enables the Board to adopt mechanisms that facilitate deployment of zero—emissions technologies, measures that provide for ongoing assessment of emission sources in the electric power sector that adversely affect disadvantaged communities and for reductions in harmful air pollution affecting the communities, protect against emissions leakage, and join one or more multijurisdictional programs for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Further, the bill provides that revenue generated from the program be directed towards programs that promote clean air, mitigate utility bill impacts and protect low-income consumers, increase energy efficiency, and assist workers and communities impacted by the closure of power plants or mines.

To protect Pennsylvanians’ rights under Article I, Section 27 of the State Constitution, we must act to prevent the worst impacts of global climate change. As Pennsylvania’s 2018 Climate Action Plan details, we are already seeing the many changes occurring to our planet's environment, landscape, ecology and weather. Unabated, this will only get worse and severely impact our economy. Pennsylvania can be the leader that our current federal government elected officials are not willing to be.

Please join in co-sponsoring this legislation so that our state can stand with the world in fighting global climate change.

Introduced as SB15