PA and NJ Take Steps to Regulate Greenhouse Gases
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania State Representative Greg Vitali and State Senator Ted Erickson introduced identical bills requiring the Commonwealth to begin addressing climate change. Bills H.B. 110 and S.B. 266 would require the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ("PADEP") to prepare within six months a report on the potential impact of climate change in Pennsylvania, and, with input from stakeholders, submit within one year a climate change action plan for approval. The bills would also require PADEP to establish a Pennsylvania greenhouse gas emissions baseline and voluntary greenhouse gas registry. In addition, Representative Vitali introduced separate legislation, H.B. 334, to help fund municipal climate change action plans.
In New Jersey, Governor Corzine issued an executive order calling for greenhouse gas reduction targets that stabilize emissions at 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. The order requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") to coordinate with other state agencies and stakeholders over the next six months to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve these targets, which are in addition to the greenhouse gas emission caps to which the state committed as a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.