Gov. Tom Wolf joined Democratic legislators Monday as they introduced two bills that would invest revenues from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) into workers affected by energy transition and communities affected by climate change. 

RGGI, a market-based program that seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions, is a regional cap-and-trade initiative including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia. Pennsylvania is the only state in the Mid-Atlantic and northeast regions that has yet to join. The program establishes a cap for pollution emitted from power plants and requires them to pay for carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere. 

The bills being introduced, Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 1565, are sponsored by state Sen. Carolyn Comitta and state Rep. Dianne Herrin, respectively. They would establish funds to disburse the estimated $300 million in annual revenue to the Energy Communities Trust Fund, Environmental Justice Communities Fund and Clean Air Fund.

“The bill is the product of extensive meetings with key stakeholders across the Commonwealth, including environmental advocacy, environmental justice, renewable energy and labor groups and communities,” Comitta said at the press conference. “With the final RGGI rulemaking expected to go before the Environmental Quality Board this summer, we are moving closer to making RGGI a reality in…

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