RGGI Public Comment Coalition Letter

Last updated: 1/14/2021

To the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board:

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are submitting our public comment in support of Pennsylvania’s establishing a carbon dioxide budget trading program and joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), one of the nation’s most successful state-level programs for fighting climate change. 

With each day that passes, climate change becomes a more urgent threat to our Commonwealth. Local impacts of the climate crisis in Pennsylvania include heat waves, worsening air quality that harms public health, more insect-borne diseases, more intense storms and flash flooding, and agricultural losses.

As the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the nation, Pennsylvania has a responsibility to

reduce our emissions, and joining RGGI will put us on the right path. Over the past twelve years, this

bipartisan program has had remarkable success for the participating Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. 

Since 2008:

rest of the country by 8.6%;

If Pennsylvania joins the program, it could reduce its carbon emissions by 188 million tons over its first decade in the program -- that’s equivalent to taking 35 million cars off the road. Moreover, joining RGGI will not only cut carbon pollution, but also reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollution, yielding significant health benefits for Pennsylvanians. DEP projects that by joining RGGI, Pennsylvania will avoid hundreds of premature deaths and 30,000 hospital visits for respiratory illness such as asthma by 2030.

Critically, participation in RGGI will enable Pennsylvania to create jobs while reducing our greenhouse gases. DEP estimates that Pennsylvania would see a net increase of over 27,000 jobs by participating in the program.

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must act now to transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. RGGI is one of the best tools we have to do so and would create a solid foundation for other important policy steps, like expanding goals for renewable energy. For the sake of our climate, our environment, and our health, we urge Pennsylvania’s leaders to join RGGI without delay.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Elected Officials

Erika Strassburger, Council Member, Pittsburgh City Council

Claudette Williams, Borough Council President, Mount Pocono Borough

Matt Shorraw, Mayor, City of Monessen

Joel Hicks, Councilor, Borough of Carlisle

Mary Carol Kennedy, East Pittsburgh Borough Council President, East Pittsburgh Borough

David Heayn-Menendez, Councilmember, Lewisburg Borough

Ron Strouse, Mayor, Doylestown Borough

Tom Kosmala, Council and Board member, Bradfordwoods Council and Authority member Northland Public Library

Richard Mease, Vice President, Selinsgrove Borough Council

Robert Donchez, Mayor, City of Bethlehem

John Holahan, Township Supervisor, Mount Pocono Borough

David Rinaldi, Councilman, Clarks Green

Marita Garrett, Mayor, Wilkinsburg

Jonathan Jaso, Member of Council, Sharpsburg Borough

Bethany Hallam, Allegheny County Councilperson, At-Large, Allegheny County

Anita Prizio, County Council Member, Allegheny County Council District 3, Allegheny County

Michael Boyd, Commissioner, Wilkins Township

Nickole Nesby, Mayor, City of Duquesne

Dick Poot, Borough Council Member, Coopersburg City

Ce-Ce Gerlach, Council Person, Allentown City

Mark Fallon, Munhall Councilperson, Munhall

Mark Barbee, Mayor, Bridgeport Borough

Kara Roggenkamp, Member of Council, Ben Avon Borough

Joanne Tosti-Vasey, President of Council, Bellefonte Borough

Jesse Barlow, President, Borough Council, Borough of State College

Sean Shultz, Deputy Mayor, Carlisle Borough

Sean Crampsie, Carlisle Borough Councilman, Carlisle Borough Council

Jim Lee, Township Commissioner, Springfield Township

Karen Beck Pooley, Director, Bethlehem Area School District Board

Jeff Stuby, Carlisle Borough Councilor, Carlisle Borough

Kathleen Schaaf, City Councilperson, Erie City

Jeffrey Cruciani, Councilman, Blakely Borough

Erica McCabe, Council Person, Stroudsburg Boro

Ronald Filippelli, Mayor, Borough of State College

Betsy Larsen, Councilperson, Swarthmore Borough Council

David Banks, City Councilman, City of Williamsport

Michael Brody, Borough councilman, Lewisburg Borough

Corey O'Connor, Councilman, Pittsburgh City Council

Olivia Bennett, County Councilor District 13, Allegheny County

Tarah Probst, Mayor, Stroudsburg, PA

Jim Evanisko, Councilmember, Stroudsburg

james huber, Council person, Bloomsburg

Robert Pasquantonio, Councilmember, Brentwood Borough Council

Bobby Wilson, City Councilman, City of Pittsburgh

Brittany Reno, Council President, Sharpsburg Borough

Karen Pastor, CouncilWoman, Sharpsburg Borough

Kevin Madden, County Councilmember, Delaware County (PA)

Benjamin Hover, Council President, Lansdowne Borough Council

Theresa Lafer, Council Member, Borough of State College

Michael Prendergast, Councilman, Bellefonte Borough Council

Deborah Cleeton, Elected Official, Bellefonte Borough

Debra Sulai, Lewisburg Borough Council President and Ward 3 Representative, Lewisburg Borough Council

Mark Squilla, Philadelphia City Councilmember, First District, Philadelphia

David O'Connell, City Councilperson, City of Easton, PA

Dan Williams, PA State Representative - 74th HD, PA House of Representatives

Kendra Brooks, City Councilmember At-Large, Philadelphia

Monica Taylor, County Councilwoman, Delaware County

Greg Vitali, State Representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Bridget Malloy Kosierowski, State Representative, 114th Legislative House District- Lackawanna County

Academics

Patricia McKellop, High School Biology and Ecology Teacher, Titusville School District

Darlene Clark, Assistant Teaching Professor, Penn State

Shawn Davis, Assistant Professor, Slippery Rock University

Richard Niesenbaum, Professor & Director of Sustainability Studies, Muhlenberg College

Amy Faivre, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Cedar Crest College

Sara Grossman, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Bryn Mawr College

C. Drew Brown, Environmental Engineer, Philadelphia Water Department

Gregory Milinovich, Senior Pastor, St. Paul's United Methodist Church & Wesley Foundation

Ana Hoffman, Air Program Engagement, CREATE Lab

Josef Werne, Professor and Chair, University of Pittsburgh

Michelle Briggs, Associate Professor of Biology, Lycoming College

Arthur Purcaro, Assistant Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Villanova University

Mark Sentesy, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Penn State

Kira Lawrence, Professor and Chair Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Lafayette College

Derek Straub, Associate Professor, Susquehanna University

Richard Moodey, Assistant Professor, Gannon University

Robert Dostal, Professor, Philosophy Department, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr College

Scott Van Bramer, Professor of Chemistry, Widener

Neil Leary, Director, Center for Sustainability Education, Dickinson College

Margee Ensign, President, Dickinson College

Albert Presto, Associate Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Mohsin Hashim, Professor of Political Science, Muhlenberg College

Benjamin Felzer, Associate Professor, Lehigh University

Jenna Ulrich, PSU BRS Club Secretary, BioRenewable Systems

Brian Fife, Professor of Political Science and Chair, Lehigh University

Paul Sylvester, Assistant Professor, West Chester University

Erik Lindquist, Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Messiah University

Nikhil Anand, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Robert Giegengack, Prof. Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania

Beatrice Dias, Co-Director of Outreach, Carnegie Mellon University

Lauren Ristvet, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Brian Gregory, Associate Professor and Graduate Chair of Biology, University of Pennsylvania

M. Fevzi Daldal, Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Karen Pooley, Director of Environmental Policy Design program, Lehigh University

Anne Norton, Professor, university of pennsylvania

Hans Pfister, Professor of Physics, Dickinson College

Michael Weisberg, Professor, University of Pennsylvania

David Bowne, Associate Professor of Biology, Elizabethtown

Jennifer Pfluger, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Swarthmore College

Karl Kleiner, Associate Professor of Biology, York College of Pennsylvania

Kenneth Kodama, professor, Lehigh University

Daniel Wodak, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and of Law, UPenn

Peter Jansson, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bucknell

Resa Jones, Chair and Associate Professor, College of Public Health, Temple University

Dominique Ruggieri, Core Teaching Faculty, Master of Public Health Program, Penn Medicine

Dr. Dilip Ramchandani, MD, 

Kelly Kuhns, Professor and Chair, Millersville

Michael Shepard, Professor, Town of Bloomsburg

Jeff Brunskill, Associate Professor, Bloomsburg University

Cathy Chamblee, Music Department Tutor, UPenn

John Hranitz, Biologist, Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

John Christman, Professor of Philosophy, Political Science and Women's Studies, Penn State U.

Ted Toadvine, Director, Rock Ethics Institute, Penn State University

Maggie Douglas, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Dickinson College

Kelly Weikel, University Affairs Officer, Penn State Society of Women Engineers

Ward Allebach, Adjunct Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Environmental Studies Program

Holona Ochs, Associate professor, Lehigh University

John Stolz, Professor, Duquesne University

Businesses

Brian Taussig-Lux, President, www.untours.com

Ken Cala, Co-owner, The Local Vapor

Sari Steuber, Operations Coordinator, Transition Town Media

Miles Butler, Owner/Operator, Germantown Espresso Bar

Dara Bortman, Sr VP Marketing/Sales, Exact Solar

Jim Kurtz, President, RER Energy Group

Dennis Rowan, Managing partner, Rowan Energy Integration

David Hughes, President, Citizen Power, Inc.

Regina Marinelli, Owner/Manager, Agri-Dynamics Inc.

Jackson Kusiak, Solar Energy Consultant, Solar States

Scott Wolovich, Executive Director, New Sun Rising

Joyce Lee, President, IndigoJLD Green + Health

Kindra Mohr, Government Relations Manager, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

Loretta Ottinger, Project Developer, Suntuity

Ryan Vesely, President, Green Solar Systems LLC

Hugh Lofting, President, Hugh Lofting Timber Framing, Inc

Marc Mondor, Principal, evolve LLC

Becky Goodwin, Owner, Tula organic salon

Fred Kraybill, Manager, Thomas Blvd Group

William Engard, Sales, MVE Group

Andrew Porter, Solar Sales Manager, Envinity, Inc.

Samuel Park, CEO, Arsenal Solar

Andrea Wittchen, Owner/Principal, iSpring

Shannon Pendleton, Principal, Sanderson Architectural

Michael Dunlay, Operations Manager, Dancing Gnome Beer

Sky Fogal, CFO, Pocono Whitewater

Robert Pierson, Director/Owner, Farm to City LLC

Eric Peterson, Manager, Peterson's Ski & Cycle, Inc.

Nathan Gross, Estimator / Project Manager / Treasurer, GC Electric Co., Inc.

Gary Bloss, Co-Owner, Josie Porter Farm

Community Organizations

Ian Kindle, Chair, Easton Environmental Advisory Council

Robin Schaufler, Member of the Environmental Advisory Committee, Swarthmore PA EAC

john marshall, secretary, Philadelphia Ethical Society

Gail Murray, Communications Director, Communities First Sewickley Valley

Ellen Stevenson, Founder, The Social Justice Group, MontCo / Philly, Indivisible

Anisa George, Guide, Wild Philadelphia

Nathan Schlingmann, Professional Counselor, Walk Your Path LLC

Christine Stenner, Secretary, Indivisible HOPE

Stanley Shapiro, Vice-Chair, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks

Luz Laboy, NAC Coordinator, Hunting Park Neighborhood Advisory Committee

April Clisura, Co-Chair, Greenfield Neighbors for Clean Air (Pittsburgh, PA)

Celeste Hardester, President, Central Roxborough Civic Association

David Lutzker, President, Phoenixville Green Team

Garen Meguerian, Member, Way Forward

Patricia Tahan Association, President, Lower Moyamensing Civic Association

Walt Cressler, Chairperson, Borough of Media Environmental Advisory Council

Stephanie Ulmer, Chair, Edgewood Shade Tree Committee

Christine Russell, Organizing Group Leader, Citizens for Equality Action

Tracy Lira, Climate Action Group Leader, H-CAN

cathy snyder, Executive Director and Founder, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue

Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, Executive Director, Women for a Healthy Environment

Howard Rieger, Convener, East End Neighbors Concerned About Pollution

Jonathan Meyers, Vice Chair, Phoenixville Area Clean Energy Alliance

Su Stout, Co-Chair, Progressive Montco

Zachary Davis, Upper Merion Environmental Advisory Council Chairperson, Upper Merion Environmental Advisory Council

Elizabeth Dale Harris, Member, Lansdowne Environmental Advisory Committee

Ron Celentano, President, PA Solar & Storage Industries Assoc. (PASSIA) 

Heidi Secord, President, Pennsylvania Farmers Union

Environmental Organizations

Jim Vogt, President, AQuashicola/ Pohopoco Watershed Conservancy

Daniel Rossi-Keen, Executive Director, RiverWise

Stacy Carr-Poole, Executive Director, Bucks County Audubon Society

R John Dawes, Executive Director, Foundation for PA Watersheds

Divya Jain, Co-President, Penn State Eco Action Club

Louise Troutman, Executive Director, Pocono Heritage Land Trust

Ashley Funk, Incoming Executive Director, Mountain Watershed Association

Amy Tecosky-Feldman, Climate Activist, Citizens Climate Lobby - MontCoBucks Chapter, Climate Action Narbs (Narberth Ready for 100)

David Perkins, Member, CCL

Brook Lenker, Executive Director, FracTracker alliance

William Mettler, BucksMont Chapter Leader, Citizens Climate Lobby

Steven Hvozdovich, Pennsylvania Campaigns Director, Clean Water Action

Sandy Field, Chapter Chair, Climate Reality Project; Susquehanna Valley, PA

Terry Spahr, Executive Director, Earth Overshoot

Gillian Graber, Executive Director, Protect PT (Penn-Trafford)

Elizabeth Koniers Brown, Director, Delaware River Watershed Program, Audubon Mid-Atlantic

Kimberly Witt, Mid Atlantic Policy Manager, Appalachian Mountain Club

Matthew Mehalik, Executive Director, Breathe Project

Glenn Olcerst, Co-Founder & In -House Counsel, Rail Pollution Protection Pittsburgh

Thomas Schuster, Clean Energy Program Director, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter

Nancy Chernett, Member, Delaware River Valley Pachamama Chapter

Bernard McGurl, Executive Director, Lackawanna River Conservation Association

Phoebe Reese, Co-Chair, Climate Reality: Pittsburgh & Southwestern PA

Vivian Stockman, executive director, OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Leann Leiter, Pennsylvania & Ohio Field Advocate, Earthworks

Lise Baxter, Co-founder, Protect Our Water & Air

Jane Dugdale, Cofounder/corp group, Phoenixville Area Transition

Lucinda Rogers, president, Evergreen Conservancy

Kimberly Stever Nelson, Principal, Eastwick Solutions

Rachel Davis, Project Geologist, Environmental Resources Management

Amy Bruckner, Board Member, Guardians of the Brandywine

Nathaniel Smith, Secretary, Don't Spray Me!

Victoria Laubach, Executive Director, Green Valleys Watershed Association

William Kern, Executive Director, Countryside Conservancy

Lisa Hallowell, Senior Attorney, Environmental Integrity Project

Craig Lukatch, President, Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation

Jose Duenas, School Program Manager, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Pari Kasotia, Mid-Atlantic Director, Vote Solar

Andrea Wittchen, President, Lehigh Valley Sustainability Network

Matt MacConnell, Co-Chair/Conservation Chair, Lehigh Valley Sierra Club Group of the PA Chapter

Billy Hanafee, Founder, PHLASK Ecosystem

Leigh Altadonna, President, Wyncote Audubon Society

Bobby Hughes, Executive Director, Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR)

Diane Rosencrance, Executive Director, DelawareHighlands Conservancy

Jeffrey Marshall, President, Heritage Conservancy

Jakob Speksnijder, Board Member Plastic Free Please, West Chester Green Team

Douglas Mason, Chair, Sierra Club Moshannon Group

Katie Modic, Executive Director, Communitopia

Emily Collins, Executive Director and Managing Attorney, Fair Shake Legal Services

Alexa Plisiewicz, President, The Biological Sciences Society, Penn State

Pat Lupo, OSB, Co-Chair, PLEWA Pennsylvania Lake Erie Watershed Association

Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick, volunteer coordinator for Delco RF 100, Delaware County Ready For 100 campaign

Malinda Clatterbuck, secretary, Lancaster Against Pipelines

Peter Hughes, President, Valley Forge Trout Unlimited

Elizabeth Brown, Director, Delaware River Watershed Program, Audubon Pennsylvania

Madge Monser, Chair, Ambler Environmental Advisory Council

Peter Couchman, Executive Director, Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve

Anthony Hopkins, Hub Co-Coordinator, Sunrise Movement Philadelphia

Sidney Kahn, Board member, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania (PSR PA)

Michael Pisano, Hub Coordinator, Sunrise Pittsburgh

Phyllis Blumberg, Founding Member, Climate Action Lower Merion

Ilana Zahavy, Founding Organizer of the Beth Am Israel JYCM chapter, Jewish Youth Climate Movement Chapter of Congregation Beth Am Israel, Penn Valley, PA

Aaron Appel, Partnerships Team Lead, Sunrise Movement Philadelphia Hub

Glenn Olcerst, Co- Founder Rail Pollution Protection Pittsburgh, Environmental & Community Organization

Christine Graziano, President, Plant Five for Life

karen grzywinski, President, Allegheny County Clean Air Now (ACCAN)

Joylette Portlock, Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh

Faith Leaders & Organizations

Kipp Gilmore-Clough, Associate Pastor, Chestnut Hill United Church

Kenneth Feinour, Retired Lutheran Pastor, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Glenside, PA

Sandra Strauss, Director of Advocacy and Ecumenical Outreach, Pennsylvania Council of Churches

William Erat, Rev., Erat Enterprises

Troy Frank, Network Administrator, UUFCC Green Sanctuary Committee

Linda Noonan, Senior Pastor, Chestnut Hill United Church

Daniel Swartz, Executive Director, Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

Zack Jackson, Pastor

Joy Bergey, Director, Environmental Justice Center of Chestnut Hill United Church

Michael DiMonte, Convener, St. Paul’s Working for Justice Ministry

David Heayn-Menendez, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light

Courtenay Willcox, Moderator, BMPC Environmental Justice Committee

Jeremy Chen, Community member / Block Captain, One Hope Community Church

Sandra Strauss, Director of Advocacy and Ecumenical Outreach, Pennsylvania Council of Churches

Linda Sander, Co-Chair, Unitarian Congregation of West Chester Social Justice Committee

Douglas Hagler, Pastor, The First Presbyterian Church of Phoenixville

Russell Sullivan, Pastor, Pine Street Presbyterian

stephanie schmidt, prioress, Benedictine sisters of erie

Diane Bardol, Vice President and Social Justice Coordinator, Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart

Johannah Werbach, Co-Chair, Green Team of Beth Am Israel

Health Professionals

Dr. Felipe Gómez

Elicia Gonzales, Exec Dir, Women's Medical Fund

Susanne Groenendaal, Clinical Social Worker, 

Claudia Crane, RN

Walter Tsou, Exec Director, PSR Pennsylvania

Tammy Murphy, Medical Advocacy Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

Dr. Avinash Linganna, Cardiologist

Neal Hemmelstein, Psychologist, Child, Adult, & Family Psychological Center

Diane Krassenstein, Retired RN, BSN

Mary Beth Mannarino, Professor emerita; psychologist, Chatham University

Deborah Gentile, Medical Director, Community Partners in Asthma Care

Dr. Lana Fishkin, MD

Xue Ming, Professor  Department of Neurology, Rutgers University

Jove Graham, Health Services Researcher, Geisinger

Elizabeth Lowenthal, pediatrician/epidemiologist, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Virginia Soules, M.D.

Lisa Cannon, Psychologist

Rick Heil, Licensed Psychologist

Katie Huffling, Executive Director, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

 

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