Commonwealth Court Blocks Pennsylvania’s Entry into Carbon Taxation Initiative

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court this week blocked the state’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an 11-state compact requiring de facto taxation of power plants’ carbon emissions.

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tried to effect Pennsylvania’s participation in the initiative by issuing an executive order in 2019, thus neglecting to seek approval of the Republican-led General Assembly. The court’s new opinion comes one day after the state Senate failed to override the governor’s veto of legislation letting the General Assembly end the state’s membership in the compact. Legislative leaders have argued that the governor’s unilateral action violated the state Constitution and were heartened upon hearing of the judges’ decision.

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Governor Youngkin Says New Report Shows That Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Is Carbon Tax Passed on to Consumers

Glenn Youngkin

Governor Glenn Youngkin is trying to withdraw Virginia from participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI,) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) published a Youngkin-ordered report on the program, which requires utilities to bid on carbon dioxide allowances.

“Costs are soaring for Virginia families and as governor, I pledged to address over taxation and Virginia’s high cost of living. That’s why I signed Executive Order Nine to direct DEQ to examine the impact of RGGI and start the process of ending Virginia’s participation. This report reveals that RGGI is in reality a carbon tax passed on to families, individuals and businesses throughout the Commonwealth – it’s a bad deal for Virginians,” Youngkin said in a press release Tuesday.

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Commentary: Carbon Offsets – Not Taxes or Emissions Caps – Are the Best Path to Carbon Neutrality

Carbon taxes, emissions caps, subsidies – these all seek to reduce atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases, yet regularly meet criticism and opposition. Is there a more efficient solution to achieving climate balance? Not only is the answer yes, but the potential benefits could far outperform what other strategies hope to achieve.

Most solutions seek to reduce emissions –abruptly or over time– or attain carbon neutrality by utilizing renewable power sources, but increasingly we hear that carbon neutrality is not enough. We must find new technology and techniques to reduce greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, which will require meaningful investments in research and development. One solution is voluntary carbon offsets.

Carbon offsets are certificates for purchase intended to counteract operational emissions or capture legacy emissions from the past. This is done by paying for a given quantity of CO2 to be neutralized through investment in offsetting projects or technology. Whether the certificates are directed towards conservation efforts, renewable energy, or carbon capture or removal, purchasing carbon offsets provides one party investor satisfaction and the other party an infusion of funding intended to finance a carbon-reduction strategy. When purchasing high quality offsets, these serve as a down payment and incubator toward the best climate solutions available in the laboratory or in the field.

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Youngkin Will Pull Virginia Out of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Says He Supports All-of-the-Above Energy Policy

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced that he will use an executive order to pull Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an 11-state cap-and-trade initiative aimed at reducing utility carbon dioxide emissions by requiring utilities to bid for carbon dioxide allowances in state auctions. Youngkin’s commitment is one of his first specific energy and environmental policy statements, but he couched it as part of his broader plan to lower Virginians’ cost of living.

“RGGI will cost ratepayers over the next four years an estimated $1 billion to $1.2 billion dollars,” Youngkin said Wednesday to the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.. “RGGI describes itself as a regional market for carbon, but it is really a carbon tax that is fully passed on to ratepayers. It’s a bad deal for Virginians. It’s a bad deal for Virginia businesses, and as Governor, I will withdraw us from RGGI by Executive Action. I promised to lower the cost of living in Virginia and this is just the beginning.” 

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Virginia Opts Not to Join Climate Initiative, for Now

Virginia was not in the first slate of states to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which proponents argue will help fight climate change and opponents assert will increase costs for households.

Under the multistate agreement, a state would agree to establish a cap on diesel and gasoline sales and require wholesales to purchase carbon allowances to go over that limit, which effectively creates a carbon tax. The initiative has received support from many Democrats and opposition from Republicans.

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Presidential Hopeful Jay Inslee Goes National With a Climate Agenda He Failed to Implement in His Own State

by Michael Bastasch   Democratic Washington Governor Jay Inslee has entered the 2020 presidential race as the candidate who has what it takes to unite Americans around one goal: fighting climate change. But while Inslee pushes for a Green New Deal-like economic plan, the Democratic governor has failed to implement…

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Scientist Bullied By Fellow Faculty, Students For Climate Change Heresies Speaks Out

by Michael Bastasch   Climate scientist Cliff Mass is speaking out against “academic political bullying” from University of Washington faculty and students, stemming from Mass’s rejection of a carbon tax initiative favored by activists. “Science can only flourish when there is tolerance for a diversity of viewpoints and ideas,” Mass…

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French President Macron Waves The White Flag On Carbon Taxes

by Michael Bastasch   French President Emmanuel Macron decided to scrap the planned carbon tax on fuels after weeks of protests rocked Paris and other major cities across the country. An Élysée Palace official told The Associated Press Wednesday that “the president decided to get rid of the tax.” Macron’s decision comes one…

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Greenpeace Fighting to Stop Drivers From Learning About Carbon Tax Costs

by Jason Hopkins   Greenpeace is suing to stop the placement of stickers on gas stations that notify drivers of higher fuel prices due to the implementation of a carbon tax. Ontario Premier Doug Ford — who has embarked on a pro-energy agenda in his province since entering office — will execute a…

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