RGGI Increases Electricity Rates in Pennsylvania

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PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania Senate Democrats have been pushing for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for some time now, and it looks like their efforts will finally start to take effect.

On August 10th, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission announced that starting today, September 1st, electricity rates would be climbing higher once again. This is the second major increase in Pennsylvania electricity rates in the past six months.

The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office has estimated that this new rate hike could end up costing consumers nearly $800 million. This would mean that Pennsylvania families could see their electricity bills skyrocket by as much as 30%. Opponents of the rate increase describe it as a very regressive tax that will crush lower-income and fixed-income seniors at a time when inflation is already running rampant.

“Electricity companies are going to keep increasing prices as long as inflation continues the trend it has been taking and RGGI continues to move forward,” PA SRCC Communications Director Michael Straw stated. “Senate Democrats had a chance to stop the implementation of RGGI and provide some relief for middle-class families squeezed by inflation. Instead, they stood with special interests.”

Pennsylvania is one of twelve states participating in the program. Under the program, power plants are required to purchase allowances for their emissions. The cost of these allowances is passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills.

The PA SRCC argues that the program will have a disproportionately negative impact on middle-class families. They have called on Senate Democrats to oppose the program and take steps to provide relief for families struggling with rising costs.

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