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The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a polarizing issue in Pennsylvania, will be the focus of Washington & Jefferson College’s next energy webinar.

W&J’s Center for Energy Policy and Management will present “What Is RGGI and Why Should Pa. Participate?” on April 14 at 11 a.m. The virtual event will be part of the center’s Energy Lecture Series, and feature Allen Landis as speaker.

Landis is executive director of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, a branch of the state Department of Environmental Protection. He is involved with clean energy financing at DEP, and with development of the state’s regulation to participate in RGGI.

Climate change is the impetus behind RGGI, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by creating a cap-and-trade program for the electricity generation sector.

Pennsylvania has not joined the initiative, but it is favored by Gov. Tom Wolf and environmental advocates.

Many people in the industry, however, oppose RGGI. They say if the Keystone State does join, it will ultimately result in increased energy rates for consumers and businesses, and job loss, without significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions, as supporters claim.

Wolf signed an executive order in 2019, directing DEP to start a rule-making process that would enable the state to participate in RGGI.

Eleven states have joined RGGI – Virginia, plus 10 of the 11 located in Northeastern U.S. Pennsylvania, is the exception.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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