Gov. Wolf needs to appoint two new commissioners this fall to fill vacancies on the five-member board, but faces pushback in the state Senate, which opposes Pa.’s plans to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The rule still needs approval from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the Attorney General’s Office. But Tuesday’s vote was a key step in the regulatory process.
Pennsylvania could become the first fossil-fuel rich state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program designed to cut emissions.
Last week’s votes mark a shift in attitude from last year, when none of the committees voted to recommend the draft rule.
Wolf’s candidate is leading the administration’s effort to have the state join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative which Republican lawmakers oppose.
The move is one of several attempts by lawmakers to prevent the state joining the program through regulation.
If Wolf is successful, Pennsylvania would become the first major fossil fuel state to adopt a carbon pricing policy or join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The move shocked some environmental and consumer protection groups, who say Republicans are holding the Public Utility Commission hostage over an unrelated policy decision.
The projects spread across six counties will add 191 megawatts of solar energy in the state, nearly double how much is produced statewide now.
Environmental groups are encouraged by Wolf’s proposal, given the economic fall-out of COVID-19.