KEEA Disappointed by RGGI Decision But Looks Ahead

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November 1, 2023
From Rachel Goodgal, KEEA Government Affairs Manager

This morning, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania filed its decision that the state’s Rulemaking to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) constitutes an invalid tax. In a 4-1 majority decision led by Judge Wojcik, the Court declared that the RGGI Rulemaking is void and enjoined DEP and EQB from enforcing its provisions.

The dissent, by Judge Ciesler, maintained: “it does not seem that the emissions allowance auction process would impose what could be deemed fees in the traditional sense, but, by the same token, it is not entirely clear that the proceeds raised thereby would constitute a tax. Given this, there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the question of whether the Rulemaking establishes a tax or a fee.”

The opinions (on two relevant cases), can be found here and here.

KEEA and our partners are using this news to push Governor Shapiro and DEP to defend RGGI in the courts. KEEA’s Policy Counsel John Kolesnik is in Harrisburg today with partners from NRDC, POWER Interfaith, and Conservation Voters of PA, among other organizations, for a press conference reinforcing the benefits of RGGI.

Governor Shapiro’s RGGI Working Group concluded that a cap-and-invest approach (which RGGI is) is the best way to meet the governor’s three energy goals: protect and create energy jobs; take real action to address the climate crisis, and ensure affordable, reliable power for consumers. KEEA and our partners believe that RGGI is the clearest and quickest way to accomplish these critical goals.

We therefore urge the Governor to defend RGGI in the courts and to develop a comprehensive plan for the equitable allocation of RGGI funds, to further advance these goals.


Please contact Rachel Goodgal ( with questions.

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