Coal industry and partners laud court strike down of illegitimate carbon tax

November 1, 2023 

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Coal Alliance (PCA) Executive Director Rachel Gleason today issued the following statement regarding today’s Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decision to grant the application for summary relief regarding the proposed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). PCA, along with Bowfin KeyCon Holdings, LLC, Chief Power Finance II, LLC, Chief Power Transfer Parent, LLC, KeyCon Power Holdings, LLC, GenOn Holdings, Inc., United Mine Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers filed an application for summary relief in November 2022.

“Former Governor Tom Wolf unilaterally initiated Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI by ignoring and simply bypassing Pennsylvania’s legislature. In the ruling, the Court indicated ‘The power to levy taxes is specifically reserved to the General Assembly.’ ‘We cannot . . . agree with [DEP] Secretary McDonnell’s argument that the allowance auction proceeds do not constitute a tax.’

“Pennsylvania’s residents, consumers and businesses have something to cheer about today after the court’s decision to halt Pennsylvania participation in RGGI. Today’s decision will ensure Pennsylvanians will not be burdened by a multi-billion-dollar compliance scheme that had no meaningful reduction in C02 emissions.”

“For decades, Pennsylvania’s coal industry has generated thousands of high-paying jobs and tax revenue, but also has provided residents with affordable, reliable and resilient electricity. The implementation of RGGI would have had a devastating impact on Pennsylvania’s economy and would have required the import of electricity from out-of-state, further driving up electricity costs in the Commonwealth and threatening grid reliability.”

“The PCA and its members implore Governor Shapiro to accept the Court’s invalidation of the RGGI rulemaking and follow the recommendation of his working group which urged policy makers to “ensure that its energy customers do not unreasonably or disproportionately shoulder the cost and potential reliability burdens.”