Carbon Tax Opposed by CO2 Coalition Stopped by Court
November 2, 2023
ARLINGTON, Va. — A proposed carbon tax — known as the Regional Greenhouse Initiative (RGGI) opposed by the CO2 Coalition has been killed by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court.
In deciding a case that had been pending for months, the court found that former Gov. Tom Wolf’s unilateral action to have Pennsylvania join the RGGI regional consortium of states constituted a tax that required legislative approval and was in violation of Pennsylvania’s constitution. The current administration of Gov. Josh Shapiro has 30 days to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
“We are gratified by the court’s decision and pleased to have been part of the widespread opposition to RGGI,” said Gregory Wrightstone, CO2 Coalition executive director. “Our analysis found RGGI to be unscientific, unnecessary, economically damaging and of no environmental benefit.”
RGGI, like all so-called green initiatives, is based on the false premise that emissions of carbon dioxide from human activity is overheating the planet. CO2 is in fact an essential plant food, and modern increases in atmospheric levels of the gas have contributed to record crop harvests and an overall greening of Earth. The decision to kill RGGI is a vote for benefiting humanity and a prospering economy.
CO2 Coalition findings of RGGI’s shortcomings were sent in a 2021 report to more than 400 Pennsylvania leaders in business, labor and government. Wrightstone and other CO2 Coalition representatives testified against RGGI in committee hearings in the Pennsylvania House and Senate and before the state Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
Others opposing RGGI included Power PA Jobs Alliance, an organization of business and labor groups, and Republican members of the Pennsylvania Legislature. Suits filed in Commonwealth Court by various parties, including members of the legislature and power plant owners, led to the court’s nullification of RGGI.
RGGI would have imposed a tax on emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants that burn coal and natural gas to generate electricity, adding hundreds of millions of dollars to energy costs and destroying thousands of jobs in the state’s energy sector. The 2019 proposal of Gov. Wolf is believed to have accelerated the July closing of the state’s largest coal-fired power plant at Homer City and to have discouraged the development of new fossil fuel-fired generation in the state.
Contact: Gregory Wrightstone