FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2020
Washington, DC — On Friday, December 11th, Liz Fairchild, Executive Director of Business Forward Foundation, testified at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in support of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
At Friday’s public hearing on the proposed rulemaking for RGGI, Fairchild spoke on behalf of 6,000 local business leaders in Pennsylvania. She explained that the Commonwealth’s business community sees RGGI “as an opportunity to spur a long-lasting economic recovery through innovation of clean technologies and investments in energy efficiency.”
“Pennsylvania business leaders in our network support RGGI because they are concerned about severe weather distorting commodity prices, disrupting supply chains, damaging plants and equipment, and hurting consumer demand,” said Fairchild. “Opponents of RGGI argue it will cost the Commonwealth jobs in the coal industry. But unfortunately, those jobs are already being lost due to the inevitable market shift from coal to gas and renewables. RGGI raises revenue from that transition.”
Participating RGGI states have generated more than $4 billion in economic benefits, primarily through investments in energy efficiency. Fairchild explained what similar investments could mean in Pennsylvania: “These benefits have taken the form of new jobs, customer utility bill savings, and public-private investment, and they all work toward making the energy landscape more equitable, which should be a priority in Pennsylvania.”
“Given the current recession, support for low and middle-income customers is critical right now,” she added. “When more people are able to participate, more energy is saved, more emissions are curtailed, and the cost of energy drops for more people.”
Fairchild concluded by summarizing the potential of RGGI: “Ultimately, business leaders in Pennsylvania see RGGI as an opportunity to mitigate severe weather risks, raise revenue from the energy transition, lower energy costs for consumers and small businesses, and spur economic growth by investing in energy efficiency, innovation, and the clean energy workforce.”
You can read more about how RGGI would benefit Pennsylvania here: What RGGI Could Mean For Pennsylvania’s Carbon Emissions and Energy Economy. You can read our research on how climate change and severe weather are threatening supply chains of businesses across the state here: Pennsylvania Companies Explain Climate Change and Severe Weather Risk.
ABOUT BUSINESS FORWARD FOUNDATION
The Business Forward Foundation is an independent research and education organization that takes a business-minded look at policy issues affecting America’s economic competitiveness. Our work combines insights and advice from business leaders across the country with rigorous policy analysis. Through white papers, issue briefs, conference calls, and other events, we educate policy makers and the public about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work, and other critical issues.