Op-ed: Market Forces Will Reduce PA’s Power Plants

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August 22, 2021 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazettee


No matter how well intentioned, Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative will fail in its intended goal of reducing carbon emissions.

That’s according to the very analysis that the Wolf administration is using to justify the program. As carbon emissions are reduced in Pennsylvania, power plants in other states will simply produce more electricity from carbon sources, according to the Department of Environmental Protection’s own projections.

If Pennsylvania joins RGGI, the 14-state electric grid region we are part of will produce 99.1% as much carbon compared to the level it would otherwise produce if Pennsylvania did not join RGGI. Market forces will reduce Pennsylvania’s coal-fired power plants to the same level by 2030 whether we join RGGI or not, according to the DEP.

Yet joining RGGI will raise Pennsylvania’s electricity prices and reduce household disposable income, again, according to the DEP’s own numbers. And the only result will be an accounting sleight-of-hand in which Pennsylvania will be able to claim it cut carbon emissions, while overall emissions in the region stay essentially the same. That’s not Pittsburgh Works Together’s analysis. It comes straight from the DEP’s website.


Thomas Melcher
Business manager, Pittsburgh Regional Business Trades
Co-chair, Pittsburgh Works Together

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