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    Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Update

    The independent commission charged with reviewing proposed state rules and regulations on February 16th called for a one-year moratorium on the implementation of Governor Wolf’s mandate that Pennsylvania join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and questioned the Governor’s unilateral decision to join the compact without legislative approval, according to Senators Gene Yaw (R-23), Chair, and Joe Pittman (R-41), Vice Chair, of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

    The delay and questions about the Environmental Quality Board’s (EQB) authority to impose a regulation to establish a program to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide from electric generation (Regulation #7-559) were part of a nine page comment document issued by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), the senators said.  At its September 15, 2020 meeting, the EQB considered and approved the proposed regulation – over the previously filed objections from three advisory panels in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

    On October 3, 2019, Governor Wolf directed DEP to join RGGI – a collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.  The states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and, more recently, New Jersey and Virginia, set a cap on total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electric power generators in their states.  In order to comply, power plants must purchase a credit or “allowance” for each ton of CO2 they emit, which changes every calendar quarter through auctions conducted by RGGI. Pennsylvania would be the only state in the compact with a substantial amount of coal or natural gas resources and, as a result, electric generation plants fueled by those resources.

    “These critical IRRC comments, and its recommendation for a one-year delay, are quite timely given the ongoing and catastrophic blackouts in Texas, which were caused by that state’s transition from reliable and resilient coal generation to unreliable wind and solar power, much as Governor Wolf intends with Pennsylvania’s entry into RGGI,” said Senator Yaw. “During Pennsylvania’s last polar vortex, it was coal generation that absorbed three-quarters of the historic increase in demand for electricity, since nuclear power cannot be increased and significant amounts of natural gas had to be rerouted from power plants to home heating. These issues must be thoroughly analyzed by the General Assembly, the Public Utility Commission and PJM.”

    “There is a lot of information in the report and it clearly shows that the IRRC thoughtfully considered all of the facts and details presented on the proposed regulation,” said Senator Pittman. “But the biggest piece is the IRRC recommendation that any RGGI rule have its implementation delayed by a year. There are several other items of note in the report, but the main take away is that IRRC certainly recognizes the significant impact of Pennsylvania entering into RGGI and that it must be done thoughtfully.”

    In addition to asking the EQB to consider delaying the implementation of the regulation for one year, the IRRC also directed the EQB to provide details on the Governor’s unilateral decision to join RGGI without legislative approval and to explain how it was empowered to develop the regulation, despite the rejection of the proposal by three DEP advisory panels.  The IRRC noted that prior to being presented to the EQB for consideration, the three panels (the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, the Citizens Advisory Council, and the Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee) all declined to support the rulemaking.

    The IRRC comments also considered objections raised by several parties of whether the proposed regulation represents a policy decision of such a “substantial nature” that it requires legislative review and acknowledged a point raised by a Pennsylvania Senate letter that “the proposed regulation joining Pennsylvania to RGGI represents the single, most significant energy policy reform since the deregulation of electric generation in the 1990s.”
    “The issues raised by members of the General Assembly, the legislative action from the last session of the General Assembly, the lack of consensus from three EQB advisory panels and the manner in which other states have joined RGGI clearly indicate that this regulation falls within the scope of that criterion,” the comments stated. “We ask the EQB to explain why it is appropriate to implement this carbon trading program through executive order and the rulemaking process instead of the legislative process.”

    After reviewing the points raised by both sides regarding EQB’s statutory authority granted by the Air Pollution Control Act (APCA), the Commission directed that agency to consider all of the arguments on both sides of these issues and provide a point-by-point analysis of why this proposal is within its delegated authority and to show that it is consistent with the intent of the General Assembly when the APCA was enacted.

  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 10:00:00 -0500

    United Way smashes fundraising goal with $690,000

    The hole they had to fill wasn’t as deep as they feared.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 09:54:00 -0500

    Concerts, dough, Barb, Charles, etc.

    Organizer Judy Holliday is attempting to raise money to restart the Summer Concerts in the Park this summer at Memorial Park in Indiana.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 09:49:00 -0500

    IUP safety sciences program earns national ranking

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Applied Sciences program has been ranked third in the nation for excellence by www.Universi, with an A ranking.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 09:49:00 -0500

    Lineup set for Indiana County Decathlon

    The Indiana County Decathlon is in its fifth year, featuring a lineup of self-guided walks.
  • Thu, 04 Mar 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    2,500 eligible for vaccine through local IU

    ARIN Intermediate Unit 28 is coordinating distribution of vaccines in Indiana and Armstrong counties — and still is waiting for specifics from the entity that contracted with the state to provide those vaccines.
  • Thu, 04 Mar 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    VFW digs out of financial hole, refunds golf fees

    Newly installed leaders of the embattled Indiana post of Veterans of Foreign Wars have shaken one monkey from their back.
  • Thu, 04 Mar 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    IUP clerical workers face layoffs

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania has a long-range plan to reduce its non-faculty workforce by about 161 by the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year.
  • Thu, 04 Mar 2021 09:49:00 -0500

    IUP archives get $4,608 boost

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania is among 31 recipients of Historical & Archival Records Care grants from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.
  • Wed, 03 Mar 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    Family matriarch celebrates 108th birthday

    BLAIRSVILLE — A peaceful and quiet but happy celebration is happening today in Blairsville, where the town’s oldest known resident reaches her 108th birthday.
  • Wed, 03 Mar 2021 09:59:00 -0500

    Police chief discourages IUPatty's gatherings

    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a shadow over Indiana Borough.
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Top 100 Organizations 2021

    Looking forward into 2021, After a challenging year, Pennsylvania Business Central is proud to recognize the Top 100 Organizations for 2021. After receiving a long list of nominees from throughout our 23-county readership, these organizations were selected by an editorial committee due to their positive impacts in the business community of central Pennsylvania. This year’s Top 100 Organizations are leaders […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Paycheck Protection Program – The Second Round Is Underway

    A second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans opened up first to underrepresented small business owners, and then the general population this month. It offered businesses a chance to get a second loan in 2021. Initial data indicates more than $1 billion in loans have been approved for Pennsylvania businesses, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced recently. The SBA reopened […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    COVID-19’s Challenge for Leaders

    For over 40 years, I have worked with lead­ers around the world to help them chart strate­gies and build executive teams. Never in that time have I observed a greater challenge to leadership. Not sur­prisingly, that challenge is driven by the economic impact of today’s pandemic and the emotional upheaval of social iso­lation. Nobel prize winning physicist Max Planck once […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    New Targeted Email Program

    In recent years, the Direct Marketing As­sociation has done extensive studies on median return-on-investment (ROI) for select channels such as paid social me­dia, direct mail, online display, and Paid search. Consistently, direct email has proven to be the most cost-effective op­tion with a median return of +122%. Large corporations can afford their own departments to manage their database and customer […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    UPMC Health System

    UPMC in Central Pennsylvania is a network of seven hospitals. UPMC Harrisburg serves as the hub of care, providing advanced care in cardiology and vascular services, stroke care, pediatrics, women’s health – including labor and delivery – and kidney transplantation. UPMC Memorial is the newest hospital in the UPMC network, opening in 2019. By working closely with UPMC Hanover, UPMC […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Riverview Bank

    Riverview Bank is a $1.3 billion asset community bank headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Riverview Bank began a brand consolidation of all operating divisions, including CBT Bank and Citizens Neighborhood Bank, now operating under one brand across our entire Pennsylvania geography. With this unification, the Bank initiated a regional structure, offering a more effective model […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Strawberry Fields Inc.

    Strawberry Fields is honored to have been nominated and selected as one of PA Business Central’s Top 100 Organizations for 2021. Strawberry Fields provides comprehensive service and support for persons with disabilities and their families. Under the leadership of CEO Cindy Pasquinelli, Strawberry Fields is celebrating 49 years of empowering individuals and enriching lives. Through their Early Intervention and Children’s […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    1st Summit Bank

    1st Summit Bank offers banking, financial and investment services to Cambria, Blair, Somerset, Indiana and Westmoreland Counties in western Pennsylvania. Established in May 1924, 1st Summit Bank has recently expanded to 17 offices with over 200 professionals; they opened a new office in Murrysville on February 1st of 2021. 1st Summit Bank continues to build upon developing new relationships with […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology

    Located in the geographic center of the commonwealth, the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology in Centre County is a career-technical education center that offers secondary and post-secondary programs in technical fields including energy, healthcare, heavy construction, and others. Well-equipped laboratories and classrooms, highly-skilled instructors and curricula focused on industry standards and certifications prepare students for rapid employment advancement […]
  • Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:00:00 +0000

    Ernst Conservation Seeds Inc

    Ernst Conservation Seeds Inc. made its first sale in 1964. Since then, this family-owned business, with the third generation actively involved, is still working hard to improve the impact their work has on the environment continually. They make available to eastern North America the key native and naturalized species of plants for restoration, reclamation, conservation, wildlife and pollinator habitat enhancement, […]
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 21:38:15 +0000

    Pittsburgh Public Schools on track for partial reopening amid vaccinations

    Pittsburgh Public Schools are on track to open for a select group of students in early April as the effort to vaccinate its 4,608-member workforce begins in earnest next week. PPS last week targeted April 6 as the date to bring back about 4,786 students and then April 26 for another 5,215 students for in-classroom instruction. Superintendent Anthony Hamlet told reporters in a briefing Friday afternoon that he was optimistic about that date, although he declined to say when all students could return…
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 21:37:56 +0000

    Evoqua Water Technologies expanding presence in India, could double employment

    Global Engineering and Technology Center will be able to accommodate 80 more employees, doubling employment.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:52:14 +0000

    Pittsburgh ranks among top 3 cities nationwide where it's more affordable to buy a home than rent, report says

    The report found that the monthly cost of buying a home at the median price point is more affordable in 15 of the 50 largest metros analyzed.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:35:42 +0000

    Some UPMC St. Margaret patients' info may have been exposed

    Health information from an undisclosed number of UPMC St. Margaret patients were disclosed to an authorized third party by an employee who was later terminated. UPMC said in a brief statement that the employee had sent a record to the unidentified outside organization including patient name, drug name, dosages, times and dates of administration and reasons for drug administration. No social security numbers or other medical records were involved. UPMC fired the employee and has notified federal…
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 19:53:07 +0000

    Change at the top for KeyBank in Pittsburgh

    Todd Moules, who led National City, First Niagara and Key in western Pennsylvania, took his career in a new direction.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 19:12:37 +0000

    Burns & Scalo Roofing enters into asset purchase agreement with Voegele Roofing

    Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 19:09:43 +0000

    First Commonwealth building new branch in Pittsburgh area after consolidating 20% of sites footprint-wide

    Bank expects to break ground on new location this spring.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 18:41:24 +0000

    Letter to the editor: Setting the record straight on fuel subsidy benefits

    The letter writer responds to PennFuture's perspective on fuel subsidy benefits.
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 17:56:43 +0000

    Wolf sees more easing of Covid restrictions, but no definitive timetable

    Gov. Tom Wolf said he expected more reductions of the state’s Covid-19 mitigation measures but gave no time line, saying he wanted to do so responsibly and not too early before the danger of the pandemic has passed. Speaking at a Rite-Aid vaccination station in the midstate city of Steelton, Wolf said Pennsylvania was “making some real progress” in both the vaccination effort as well as other key measures, including case rates and hospital capacity. Pennsylvania in the past week, citing increased…
  • Fri, 05 Mar 2021 17:18:14 +0000

    PNC hires regional president in San Diego, starts California expansion

    Alan Prohaska joins PNC from Wells Fargo, senior vice presidents also added in newest market.
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