Court halts Pennsylvania governor’s carbon emissions rule

A court on Tuesday blocked a plan from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) to combat climate change by curbing carbon emissions, saying the regulation was “pending further order of the court.”

The policy, previously set to be published Saturday and take effect as early as July 1, would have required fossil fuel-fired power plants to pay a fee for every ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

But the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court said that it would not permit the regulation, which is part of a plan known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, to be published, siding with the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.

On Monday, a 32-17 vote in the state Senate was just shy of the two-thirds threshold that would have been required to block the regulation.

The court’s move came as the governor looked to make the Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel state with a carbon pricing policy. Pennsylvania has for years been a significant polluter and leading energy producer in the U.S.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Wolf listed some of his climate-related goals for the state, including using more renewable energy sources, encouraging electric vehicles, boosting home and commercial energy efficiency, and capturing more biogenic methane in addition to calling for the state to join in his regional initiative plan. 

Tags Tom Wolf

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