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EEN Applauds Environmental Quality Board for Vote to Approve Final Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Rule

The Evangelical Environmental Network applauds the Pennsylvania Department of Environment of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Quality Board’s (EQB) vote today to approve a rulemaking authorizing Pennsylvania to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Previously The Evangelical Environmental Network submitted 30,562 comments from individual Pennsylvania pro-life Christians to the Pennsylvania DEP and its EQB in support of CO2 Budget Trading Program Regulations (50 Pa.B. 6212) showing the wide public support for RGGI. Their comments state:

“As a pro-life Christian, I am deeply concerned that pollution harms unborn and born children and causes damage that lasts a lifetime. Dirty air has grave consequences for the health of our children and other vulnerable populations, like the elderly. That’s why I support Governor Wolf’s plan to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that will apply market-based solutions to reduce the health impacts from power plant pollution, helping boost jobs and save precious lives in Pennsylvania.” 

Our community knows that Pennsylvania is the third-largest greenhouse gas polluting state and has the fifth dirtiest power plant industry in the nation, putting the health of Pennsylvania children — both born and unborn — squarely in harm's way. As pro-life Pennsylvania Christians, we are concerned for the more than 210,000 of our children and over 1.1 million Pennsylvania adults who already battle asthma that fossil fuel pollution worsens. Asthma puts their lives at greater risk and according to The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2021 as climate change increases temperatures and multiplies asthma attacks. 

By joining RGGI, we can achieve significant pollution reductions, defend our kids’ health, create more than 27,000 net jobs, and add $1.9 billion to our commonwealth’s economy. The health benefits to Pennsylvania are also enormous, including $6.3 billion in health care savings, 30,000 fewer hospital visits for respiratory illnesses like asthma among children and adults, and 45,000 fewer asthma attacks and 1,000 fewer cases of childhood bronchitis. 

The EQB approval of RGGI makes perfect sense for our Commonwealth and sets the foundation for a clean energy future that returns Pennsylvania to our energy leadership position, supplies family-sustaining jobs, defends our children’s health, and supplies a path for a better Pennsylvania.

We look forward to the next step in Pennsylvania joining RGGI, which will be a vote of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. 

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