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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

What's RGGI?

RGGI Infographic RGGI is an initiative of 10 New England and Mid-Atlantic states, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector while generating economic growth. Together Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York Rhode Island and Vermont cap and reduce their power sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is achieved by setting a regional cap or limit on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electric power plants in the participating states. 

Qualifying power plants must acquire CO2 allowances equal to the amount of CO2 emitted. And while each state has its own allowance budget, the only firm cap is the regional one. Entities in each of the qualifying states can purchase and trade allowances- allowing for the most efficient and cost-effective emissions reductions. Also since RGGI is a market-based approach, the quarterly auction sets the price for the purchase of allowances- ensuring transparency. Furthermore the revenue from the quarterly auctions are returned to the states for reinvestment in efficiency, and other GHG reduction programs that further reduce power sector emissions. 

Why RGGI?

Governor Wolf states that climate change is the most critical environmental threat confronting the world, and given that power generation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, it is time to take concrete, economically sound and immediate steps to reduce emissions. To do so, Governor Wolf recently signed an Executive Order that directed DEP to begin a rulemaking process that will allow Pennsylvania to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), with the goal of reducing carbon emissions from the electricity sector. 

RGGI Timeline

 Accordion

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May 7, 2020 – Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee Voting Meeting

The Department will host a virtual meeting with the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee on Thursday May 7th, 2020 at 9:15 a.m. The Department will provide a presentation to the committees on the draft Annex detailing Pennsylvania’s CO2 budget trading program.

Event: Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee Meeting  Event address for attendees
Date and time: Thursday, May 7th, 2020 9:15 am Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Duration: 2 hour 45 minutes
Audio conference: United States Toll +1-415-655-0003 Show all global call-in numbers Access code: 798 163 702

Meeting Documents:


April 23, 2020 – Special Joint Informational Meeting: Carbon Dioxide Budget Trading Program

In response to requests to provide more opportunities to learn about the Carbon Dioxide Budget Trading Program at the last meeting, the Department has rescheduled the virtual special joint informational meeting with the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee and the Citizen’s Advisory Council for Thursday April 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. The Department will provide a presentation to the committees on the modeling results associated with Pennsylvania’s participation in a CO2 budget trading program. The committee members will be able to ask questions after the presentation- and this webinar is open to members of the public.

  • Audio conference:  1-415-655-0003
  • Access code: 791 722 579
  • Meeting Documents:
  • Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, February 13, 2020

    DEP unveiled preliminary draft regulations to allow Pennsylvania to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).   Members of the Department’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAC) heard details about the preliminary rulemaking which designs a carbon dioxide trading program in Pennsylvania using the RGGI Model Rule and also incorporating revisions and additions specific to Pennsylvania including: 

    • A waste coal generation set-aside allowance allocation
    • Flexibility for on-site generation tied to manufacturing facilities
    • Adds a qualifying offset for abandoned well plugging
    • Adds a provision to allow a PA-only auction if economically beneficial

    The preliminary draft regulation was presented to members for informational purposes only. 

    Testimony of DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, February 3, 2020

    On February 3, 2020 DEP had the opportunity to provide testimony at the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee’s (JLCC) hearing focusing on the impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) on Pennsylvania’s Co-Generation Industry. The Secretary testified to the additional flexibility provided in the rule for co-generation tied to Pennsylvania manufacturing facilities. Additionally he highlighted the unique benefits of waste coal generation beyond electricity production and the proposed set-aside option to assist Pennsylvania waste-coal generation facilities with RGGI compliance- thereby avoiding significant compliance costs under the current proposal. 


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    What Does RGGI Mean for PA?