Sierra Club Slams Flawed PA Commonwealth Court Ruling Against RGGI

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

HARRISBURG -- Today, in a divided decision, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled against the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and preventing the Department of Environmental Protection from enforcing the rule. 

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 10 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.

Governor Josh Shapiro and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection have 30 days to appeal the ruling to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

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

“The Sierra Club is deeply disappointed that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court sided with polluters in this decision on RGGI. As we have seen time and time again, fossil fuel polluters across the state continue to put their own profits and interests ahead of the health and futures of Pennsylvanians, and this decision is no different. 

“Every Pennsylvanian deserves clean air and water, affordable utility bills, and a future that is not threatened by the climate crisis. 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 Sierra Club calls on Governor Shapiro and the PA Department of Environmental Protection to immediately appeal this flawed ruling. ”

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