Court blocks Pennsylvania’s regional CO2 emissions plan – ‘Unlawful tax’
A state court temporarily blocked Pennsylvania from participating in a regional carbon pricing program to combat climate change, ruling Friday in favor of coal-related interests that argue the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf is seeking to impose an unlawful tax.
Commonwealth Court granted a preliminary injunction that prohibits the Wolf administration from “implementing, administering, or enforcing” the carbon-pricing policy, which is meant to curb power plants’ emissions of carbon dioxide and has long been the centerpiece of the Democratic governor’s plan to fight global warming.
The Wolf administration said it will appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Wolf made Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel state to adopt a carbon pricing policy, in which power plants fueled by coal, oil and natural gas are required to buy a credit for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit. Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s biggest polluters and power producers.
The Power Pa Jobs Alliance, a coalition of industry and labor groups, said that power plant operators would have started paying what it called the “carbon tax” on Friday had the court not issued its injunction. It contends the carbon policy will impose higher electricity costs on consumers. The group called Friday’s ruling a “significant win for working families.”