In the coming days, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives could vote on House Bill 2025, a bill that would take away the power of the Department of Environmental Protection to enact a carbon reduction program similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
It’s clear that our elected officials must do everything in their power to reduce Pennsylvania’s carbon pollution and improve our air quality, yet a contingent of our lawmakers in Harrisburg are trying to block any attempt to implement a cap-and-invest carbon reduction program in the Commonwealth.
The cap-and-invest concept is simple: instead of letting power plants dump carbon pollution in our air for free, they will have to pay a price that is determined through an auction. Not only will that encourage more innovation in reducing emissions, but the money can be reinvested to further reduce air pollution, and it can be used to further invest in our communities, workers and energy efficiency.
Having to pay to pollute isn’t popular with polluters, and their friends in Harrisburg are doing everything they can to stop this process from advancing.
Their latest attempt is HB 2025, which would strip authority from the DEP and instead require approval of the General Assembly before any cap-and-invest program could be implemented in Pennsylvania.
Now is not the time for political posturing and games. The climate crisis is worsening by the day, and Pennsylvanians are still in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic that attacks the respiratory system and is made exponentially worse by poor air quality and pollution.