On February 13th 2020 the Department of Environmental Protection released Pennsylvania’s Proposed CO2 Budget Trading Program. Pennsylvania’s proposed timeline suggests they are aiming to join the carbon cap-and-trade program, Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions (RGGI), as early as Fall 2021.
Pennsylvania will be joining ten Northeastern states enrolled in RGGI – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and recent joiner New Jersey. Governor Tom Wolf hopes that joining the program targeted at power plants with a capacity of at least 25MW will help achieve executive order 2019-01; a 26 percent reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 2025 from 2005 levels, and an 80 percent reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels.
RGGI functions by setting a cap (a limit) on carbon emissions which decreases annually. Power plants must buy carbon allowances equal to their emissions. The most popular way of acquiring the allowances is via government held quarterly auctions of which the proceeds are generally invested into energy saving and air pollution reduction programs. Pennsylvania plans to credit these proceeds into a Clean Air Fund account.
Pennsylvania has a total of fifty-eight plants that could fall under the RGGI rules, nine of which are Waste Coal Plants. The state has proposed to set a number of State Allowance Set-Asides to cover emissions produced from burning low-energy-value coal discards in order to remove significant health, environmental and safety hazards.
ANB currently provides energy solution software to multiple utilities in Northeastern states enrolled in RGGI.