HARRISBURG, P.A. – Pennsylvania State Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa today introduced legislation to pave the way for a zero-emissions power sector by 2050, invest in environmental justice communities, and provide support for workers affected by the closure of power plants. The legislation would also establish the “Energy Transition Fund” to help guide the allocation of proceeds generated by the cap-and-invest program in a manner that would seek to maximize clean energy and economic benefits for disadvantaged communities.
This comes on the heels of two recent reports that show the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s (RGGI) success in helping avoid hundreds of asthma attacks and other health harms, as well as its trajectory to save families and businesses in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states more than $2 billion on their energy bills over the coming years.
A statement follows from Jackson Morris, Director of Eastern Climate and Clean Energy at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):
“The time for climate deniers posturing in the General Assembly is long past. The climate crisis is already endangering the health and safety of Pennsylvanians, from excessive heat to harmful air pollution. The only way to change the state’s trajectory is for lawmakers to swiftly ramp up aggressive climate action. This legislation has the potential to create thousands of good-paying jobs, clean up our air, and lower bills for struggling Pennsylvanians. It will position the commonwealth to attack the climate crisis with the energy and wherewithal it demands.
For more background on climate action in Pennsylvania, read: For more background, read: New Reports Show RGGI Protects Kids’ Health and Saves Money, HB 2025 Is About Posturing. PA Needs Good Carbon Policy.; RGGI and Coal in PA: Separating Fact from Fiction; Key Takeaways from PA's New RGGI Analysis.
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.