East Coast States Strengthen Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Set Model for Nation
NEW YORK (February 7, 2013) – As part of a scheduled review process, the nine states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—a four-year-old power plant pollution-cutting program in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic—today announced changes to further strengthen the program and build on the success it has had to-date in reducing climate change pollution, creating jobs and boosting the regional economy.
The new revisions to the program limit the amount of pollution power plants in the region can emit to no more than 91 million tons—cutting the previous limit nearly in half.
The following is a statement from Dale Bryk, Director of the Energy and Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“This program has shown the nation unequivocally that environmental and economic progress can indeed go hand in hand.
“In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, RGGI is combating extreme weather at its source: climate change. At the same time, it has proved to be an economic engine for participating states: creating thousands of local jobs, generating millions for clean energy development, and lowering energy bills. Now that it will be nearly twice as strong, just imagine what it can do.
“As the EPA prepares to issue carbon pollution standards for existing power plants nationwide, other states would be wise to look to RGGI as a model. By following this lead, they too can reap similar economic benefits while helping to reduce the turbocharged weather that has been sweeping across the entire country.”
Since its creation, region-wide RGGI has helped:
- Reduce climate change pollution 30 percent
- Create 16,000 jobs
- Spur more than $1.6 billion in economic growth
- Lower energy bills by 10 percent