Independent panel vote helps clear way for Pennsylvania to join RGGI

PITTSBURGH — The Independent Regulatory Review Commission on Wednesday afternoon voted 3-2 to approve the controversial carbon trading regulations that will clear the way for Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

The vote followed more than six hours of testimony from the Harrisburg meeting room, which included the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s rationale for the carbon trading program and Pennsylvania’s reasons for joining RGGI, as well as testimony on both sides.

The vote isn’t the final say on the matter but was a major step in the process of the commonwealth joining RGGI, an 11-state carbon trading program that seeks to limit carbon dioxide pollution from fossil-fuel power generating plants. The IRRC review followed approval by the Environmental Quality Board. The Pennsylvania House Energy and Environment Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday to express disapproval of the Environmental Quality Board decision.

Read more from our news partners at the Pittsburgh Business Times.