Energy Law and Policy webinars to focus on Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

September 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania has taken the first steps towards joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an agreement among almost a dozen states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants. Penn State’s Center for Energy Law and Policy is hosting a series of webinars this semester focusing on the economic, human health, legal and policy aspects of Pennsylvania joining RGGI.

“As a major generator and exporter of electricity to surrounding states, and as a state with a diverse base of power suppliers that includes coal and natural gas in addition to nuclear and renewables, Pennsylvania is unique among the other states that have agreed to join RGGI,” said Seth Blumsack, professor of energy policy and economics and international affairs. “RGGI is first and foremost a measure to mitigate the impacts of our energy systems on climate, but there are clearly going to be spillover benefits on air and water quality. At the same time, joining RGGI will involve some fundamental changes to Pennsylvania’s power grid and to energy pricing.”

Blumsack, who directs the Center for Energy Law and Policy, assembled an interdisciplinary team of researchers that has been leading an independent effort to assess the legal, administrative and policy environment under which Pennsylvania is joining RGGI. The research team, which brings together faculty expertise in energy economics and power systems, energy law, public policy and air quality, is working to understand the possible implications of this decision on energy costs, Pennsylvania’s growing market for cleaner energy and air quality in different areas of the commonwealth.

The webinars, which are free and open to the public, will be held at noon on Fridays via Zoom. Registration is required.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Oct. 2: Joel Landry, John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, “What does RGGI mean for energy costs and the power grid in Pennsylvania?”
  • Oct. 16: Wei Peng, School of International Affairs and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, “Understanding the link between RGGI, air quality and health outcomes”
  • Nov. 6: Daniel Walters, Penn State Law, “The legal environment for RGGI in Pennsylvania”
  • Dec. 4: Daniel Mallinson, School of Public Affairs, Penn State Harrisburg, “How RGGI fits into Pennsylvania’s evolving energy policy landscape”

Penn State’s Center for Energy Law and Policy is a University-wide initiative that supports independent and interdisciplinary research, education and stakeholder engagement on complex energy issues. It provides thought leadership on energy issues where emerging science and technology are intertwined with legal, economic and social institutions. For more information on the Center for Energy Law and Policy, contact Seth Blumsack at

Last Updated September 23, 2020