Wolf said letting the bill become law would “effectively deny that climate change is an urgent problem that demands prudent solutions.”
The Environmental Quality Board voted Tuesday to approve a draft regulation that would have Pennsylvania join RGGI. It next goes up for public comment.
The compromise measure lowers the size of the tax break from more than $1 billion to $670 million over 25 years.
The bill would bar the Department of Environmental Protection from taking any action that is designed to control carbon dioxide emissions, including participation in a regional greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program such as RGGI, unless the action is authorized by the General Assembly.
Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed budget included $5 million to hire more staff at DEP and DCNR.
The Democratic governor said the prohibition, in a bill passed along party lines by the GOP-led legislature, would violate the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches, and would halt an essential government operation.
Owners of Pa.’s Beaver Valley nuclear power station will keep it open because of state’s climate plan
Overrides are rare, and can only happen when two-thirds of the legislature are willing to support a bill against the governor’s explicit wishes. The last one happened a decade ago.