Governor Shapiro Proposes State Energy Plan

In a major announcement last week, Governor Shapiro rolled out the compressive energy plan that he hopes to advance through the legislature. The plan is the Governor’s first major energy policy announcement since being in office and the proposal includes a Pennsylvania specific cap-and-trade program on power plant emissions (which the Administration has named PACER) and increased renewable energy requirements for electric power generators under the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (which the Administration has named PRESS).

Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Act (PACER) is a cap-and-trade proposal is being offered as a replacement to the current multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program tied up in the state Supreme Court. The program would divide revenue produced from the cap-and-trade credits between rebates for electric customers (70%) toward their higher bills and funding for environmental programs (30%). The initial RGGI structure would have directed all program revenue to the state to fund environmental programs. The state was projected to receive $600 million annually from the RGGI program. It is currently not known how much revenue PACER would generate for similar programs.

Pennsylvania Reliable Energy Sustainability Standard (PRESS) would significantly increase the percentage of renewable energy (aimed at promoting solar and wind) that electric generators must include in their production portfolios under the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). It would specifically require Pennsylvania to get 50% of its electricity from a diverse range of energy resources by 2035, including 35% from the clean energy sources of today and the future like solar, wind, small modular reactors, and fusion, 10% from sustainable sources like large hydropower and battery storage, and 5% from ultra-low emission forms of natural gas and other traditional fuels

Governor Shapiro indicated these bills would be introduced in the legislature this week. RGGI was adopted by Governor Wolf through Executive Order without approval from the legislature. Most Senate Republicans are calling for Governor Shapiro to formally remove Pennsylvania from RGGI before any negotiation were to occur.

Click here to view the entire press release issued by the Governor’s office.