The bill would allow Pennsylvania to set its own cap, or negotiate with a group of other states in a regional program.
Cap-and-trade is a market-based way to reduce pollution. It was first used successfully in the U.S. in the 1990’s, under former President George H.W. Bush to reduce sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain.
Around the world, more than 40 governments, in an effort to combat climate change, have put some sort of price on carbon—either by directly taxing fossil fuels, implementing cap-and-trade, or doing both. In the U.S., cap-and-trade systems are in place in California, and in the Northeast.
Pennsylvania is currently studying a citizen-led petition to implement an economy wide cap-and-trade system, modeled on California’s.
Here’s a brief explainer:
PJM, nation’s largest power grid operator, grapples with carbon pricing as states diverge on climate policies
The organization is trying to walk a fine line between respecting states’ rights while figuring out how to incorporate diverse climate polices into its wholesale electricity market.
Citizen climate petition advances, after state board approves further study of cap-and-trade program
The ramifications of the petition could be politically significant– allowing significant climate policy to be implemented without new legislation.
Dozens of groups including environmental organizations, legal scholars, churches, and local governments argue Pennsylvania has the legal authority and constitutional duty to act on climate change.