RGGI will allow Pennsylvania to be globally competitive

  • February 1, 2021

Published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on 1/30/21

Since 2004, my Pittsburgh-based firm evolveEA has integrated triple bottom line solutions into the built environment. We factor environment and equity considerations, as well as economic considerations, into all decisions.

There is a triple bottom line cost to carbon beyond the dollar cost of the energy. By placing a price on carbon emissions, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) incentivizes more efficient energy production and sends a clear market signal.

Pennsylvanians have been told energy cost is a zero sum game, and that RGGI will only make energy more expensive for us. The hundreds of millions of dollars RGGI is projected to generate can and should be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and incentives. This money can be used to create low income and small business energy efficiency programs at a time when so many could use financial relief.

These programs will lead to economies of scale and predictability, which then will attract investment from energy and renewables companies, which will then create more jobs. Energy efficiency is the fastest-growing energy sector, growing at a rate of 6% to 8% new job growth per year.

When I hear nearly every municipality and corporation talking about a zero carbon and clean energy future, I want for Pennsylvania to not only keep up; I want for Pennsylvania to lead with a progressive energy economy. We have been world leaders in energy innovation and production for two centuries. By joining RGGI, we can be globally competitive in this century as well.

— Marc Mondor, evolveEA