Letter: Legislature needs to back Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

To The Editor,

Last December, I publicly testified in support of Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). In my testimony, I talked about being a young person trying to do everything in their power to fight against climate change and my concerns for my future if we don’t. I also shared my frustration at seeing the biggest polluters across PA not being held accountable for the damage they were doing to the environment and our health.

Tens of thousands of other Pennsylvanians participated in the public comment period through these public hearings and written comments. And the overwhelming majority supported joining RGGI. So imagine my disappointment when I heard that pro-fossil fuel legislators are pushing legislation — HB637 and SB119 — that would prevent PA from joining RGGI and remove the DEP’s authority to regulate harmful carbon emissions.

This initiative would help cut Pennsylvania’s carbon emissions down by 188 million tons by 2030 and protect the climate and our health. The sooner Pennsylvania joins RGGI, the sooner we can start reducing pollution and holding polluters accountable.

I want to thank my state legislators, Representative Otten and Senator Muth, for supporting the move to join RGGI and hope that other PA elected officials will follow their lead.

Molly Rearden

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