A state court has temporarily stopped Pennsylvania from partaking in the local carbon pricing program aimed at mitigating the climate crisis.
The ruling was made on Friday and prohibits the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf from imposing what has been dubbed an unlawful tax on carbon emissions.
The proposed carbon pricing policy is intended to limit the CO2 emissions of power plants in Pennsylvania, which has long been part of the governor’s strategy to combat global warming.
However, the Commonwealth Court has granted an injunction that would prevent the Wolf administration from administering and enforcing said policy, thus supporting coal-related interests.
In response to the preliminary injunction, the Wolf administration has said it will appeal to the state Supreme Court.
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Pennsylvania is among the country’s top power producers and, therefore, also one of its leading polluters, which is why Gov. Wolf made it the first of the major emitting states to adopt a carbon pricing policy.
The policy requires that coal or other fossil fuel-fired power plants purchase a credit for every ton of CO2 they emit, and if the court had not interfered, the first carbon tax payments by power plant operators would have been made last Friday.
The court’s injunction contends that the new carbon tax would inevitably increase the price of electricity for consumers and those opposing it called the ruling a ‘significant win for working families.’
However, if at some point in the future the carbon policy is indeed imposed, it is expected to reduce the state’s emissions by up to 225 million tons of CO2 by 2030.
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