Sierra Club Praises Gov. Shapiro for Appeal of RGGI Rule

Fate of Critical Climate Policy to be Decided by PA Supreme Court

Cindy Carr,

Tom Schuster,, (814) 915-4231 

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Today, Governor Shapiro announced that he will be appealing a recent lower court decision that blocked the Commonwealth’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. 

RGGI is the nation’s first regional market-based program to set limits on carbon pollution, and generates funding for clean energy by requiring fossil fuel companies to pay for permits for their pollution. Currently, there are 11 states participating in RGGI - Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. Governor Shapiro’s RGGI working group found that a cap-and-invest carbon pollution program is the best approach for Pennsylvania to reduce the state’s carbon emissions and tackle the climate crisis. Since the program’s inception over a decade ago, climate pollution from power plants in participating states has been cut by half, while electricity has remained more affordable than in non-participating states.

The RGGI rule was finalized in April 2022, but the Commonwealth Court blocked implementation in June of that year pending its review of the case, which took 18 months. During that time, Pennsylvania has missed out on an estimated $1.5 billion to date that could have been invested in reducing pollution and building the clean energy economy.

In response, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter Director Tom Schuster issued the following statement: 

“Today Governor Shapiro stood up for the health, safety, and futures of all Pennsylvanians by defending the most important climate protection policy in our state’s history. Every Pennsylvanian deserves clean air and water, affordable utility bills, a future that is not threatened by the climate crisis, and a state legislature that will act in their best interest. RGGI is the only state policy on the table that meets the Governor’s three-part test of protecting and creating energy jobs, taking real action to address climate change, and ensuring reliable, affordable power for consumers.”

“The lower court ruling that blocked RGGI is flawed, and we thank Governor Shapiro for his leadership on the climate crisis by sending this case to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, we urge the legislature not to engage in any further obstruction of meaningful climate policy and to instead join the discussion about how RGGI proceeds can best be put to work for communities across the Commonwealth. Pennsylvanians deserve better and they will be watching to see how our legislators proceed.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit