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New bill restricts PA entry into Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative | national news

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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – New legislation is impacting Pennsylvania state resources and efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

The Energy Sustainability Act, House Bill 637went through the House of Representatives.

The bill is designed to limit the power of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to limit carbon dioxide emissions. This would limit Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

RGGI is a market-based cooperative between states to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. There are currently 11 states under the agreement, with Pennsylvania attempting to join as the twelfth member.

According to the National Resources Defense Council, the bill aims to “strip the State Department of Environmental Protection of its current legal authority to regulate climate-warming carbon dioxide, with the immediate aim of preventing the DEP from finalizing its proposed settlement to limit carbon pollution from the electricity sector and enable Pennsylvania to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.”

PA Senate Republicans dispute this, tweeting “Unbiased analysis of@Ind_Fisc_Office projects #RGGI will cost Pennsylvania $781 million per year and found that non-RGGI states cut emissions nearly as much as RGGI states. »

Pennsylvania is the nation’s third-largest electricity producer and largest electricity exporter.

The bill passed the House with a vote of 126 to 72. Ten Democrats walked down the aisle to vote with their fellow Republicans for the bill.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.