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Wolf Takes Next Step To Start Carbon Emissions Caps In 2022

Reid Frazier
StateImpact Pennsylvania
The Bruce Mansfield power plant in Shippingport, Pa.

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration on Tuesday solidified its intention to begin imposing a price on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants next year as part of a multi-state consortium, over the protests of coal- and gas-region lawmakers and elements of the energy industry.

After fielding thousands of written public comments, Wolf's administration issued a final rule for the regulatory plan with the same timeline and same goals for reductions in carbon dioxide, considered a major driver of global warming.

The rule must still go through two state regulatory boards with veto power, although one is tilted toward Wolf appointees and the other toward appointees of Wolf and Democratic lawmakers.

Wolf, a Democrat, in 2019 ordered his administration to start drafting regulations to bring Pennsylvania into what is now an 11-state consortium of Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that sets a price and declining limits on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

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. Wolf has made both a centerpiece of his strategy to fight climate change.

In consortium states, owners of power plants fueled by coal, oil or natural gas with a capacity of 25 megawatts or more must buy a credit for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit.

Associated Press