The Climate Post: Harvey Shines Light on Issue of Climate Change

Program advocates point to several studies suggesting the program’s success, reported the Boston Globe. One by the Acadia Center in 2016 found that RGGI states reduced emissions by 16 percent more than other states, while growing the region’s economy 3.6 percent more than the rest of the country. At the same time, energy prices in RGGI states fell by an average of 3.4 percent, while electricity rates in other states rose by 7.2 percent.

States Dare to Think Big on Climate Change

Even as emissions have come down, electricity rates have fallen by an average of 3.4 percent in the nine states, according to the Acadia Center, an energy research and advocacy organization. And the economies of the nine states have grown faster than the economy of the rest of the country.

 

Read the full editorial at The New York Times here

Our Opinion: Massachusetts allies make it easier to breathe

While a number of environmental groups had advocated for deeper emissions reductions over the past year, all expressed support of the agreement, with Peter Shattuck, director of the Acadia Center, a Boston-based advocacy group, telling The Boston Globe “This is what climate leadership looks like.” Significantly, the New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA), which has opposed emissions reduction mandates for not considering the burden on its members, praised the new agreement, as it has the RGGI in general. “Market-based programs provide the most efficient, competitive, and lowest-risk way to address climate change,” said NEPGA President Dan Dolan in The Globe.

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The Acadia Club [sic] has found that RGGI states have reduced their emissions by 16 percent more than other states while seeing economic growth of 3.6 percent more than those states. Energy prices fell by an average of 3.4 percent while rising by an average of 7.2 percent in non-RGGI states. Those numbers are backed by the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations. The Cambridge, Ma.-based consulting group Abt Associates said in The Globe that it estimates the the RGGI has resulted in the saving of as many as 800 lives, reduced asthma attacks by bout 8,000 and saved as much as $6 billion in health care costs.

Read the full editorial from the Berkshire Eagle here.

Chris Christie Has Plenty to Be Embarrassed About, But This One Really Matters

Contrary to what Christie said in 2011, New Jersey has lost money as a result of exiting RGGI. The state lost out on $130 million in proceeds from auctions where RGGI sells emissions permits and could miss out on another $359 million by the end of 2020 if it doesn’t rejoin, according to estimates by the Acadia Center think tank. If the sum of that money were invested in energy efficiency programs, as RGGI is designed to facilitate, New Jersey would save 15.3 million megawatt hours of electricity, more than all the power produced by the state’s coal-fired plants from 2010 to 2012.

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The nine remaining states are deciding between three different options to ramp up the rate at which RGGI reduces emissions. But the states are split between those who want the most ambitious target, such as New York and Massachusetts, and those that want the more modest choice, including Maine and New Hampshire. The difference in cost between the most and least ambitious targets comes out to less than one-tenth of one penny more per kilowatt hour of electricity over the current standard, yet the impact would be huge. Choosing the most aggressive reduction rate would avoid 99 million short tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Acadia Center.

Read the full article from Mother Jones here.

Stepping Up Pace on Fighting Climate Change

Peter Shattuck, director of the Clean Energy Initiative at the Acadia Center, calls the agreement a major victory for bipartisan action to address climate change.

“This shows that northeast states are stepping up to fill the void left by the Trump administration’s irresponsible and misguided efforts to roll back every major environmental protection on the books,” he states.

RGGI estimates that extending the cap will bring carbon emissions in the region down 65 percent from 2009 levels. The Trump administration argues that environmental regulations hinder industrial development and economic growth.

The nine RGGI states together comprise the sixth-largest economy in the world, and Shattuck says RGGI’s record of pollution reduction and economic growth proves that the cooperative’s approach to fighting climate change can work.

“It puts a price on pollution, which unleashes innovative ways to avoid that pollution,” he points out. “And that’s what we’ve seen from RGGI and other market-based programs.”

But he cautions that the even these further carbon reductions by RGGI aren’t enough to slow global climate change. Shattuck says more states need to join in the effort, and move beyond RGGI’s mission of cutting power-plant pollution.

“This step helps clean up the electric sector, but we’re also going to need to tackle transportation, which is the largest source of climate pollution in the region and now, the country as a whole,” he stresses.

Read the full story from Public News Service here.

Environmentalists React to Regional Proposal to Cut Carbon Emissions

Peter Shattuck, director of the clean energy initiative for Acadia Center, said this proposal is what climate leadership looks like.

“(Rhode Island) Governor Raimondo and other governors have really stepped up to fill the void of the Trump administration’s misguided and irresponsible decision to roll back all our major climate policies (and) to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement,” Shattuck said.

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From 2008 to 2015, RGGI states have seen 3.6 percent more economic growth than non-RGGI states and electricity prices have gone down 3.4 percent regionally, according to a report by Acadia Center.

Read the full story from Rhode Island Public Radio here.

RGGI Agrees to Reduce Carbon Emissions by Another 30%

To prevent this, the states will further lower RGGI’s cap in 2021-2025 by the amount of excess allowances sold and banked between 2014 and 2020 (the same approach previously used to address banked allowances from 2009-2013). Our friends at Acadia Center estimate this could avoid an additional 48.5 million tons of carbon pollution (or more).

Read the full blog post from NRDC on Microgrid Knowledge here.

Nine Northeast States Pledge More Power Plant Emissions Cuts

The Acadia Center has found RGGI states have reduced their emissions by 16 percent more than other states, the region’s economy grew 3.6 percent more than the rest of the country and energy prices fell by 3.4 percent, compared to a national rise of 7.2 percent.

Read the full article from Power Engineering Magazine here.

Northeast Strengthens Carbon Goals as Federal Rules Fade

“If you add it up, the RGGI states are the sixth-largest economy in the world. This is a significant development,” said Peter Shattuck, who directs the clean energy initiative at the Boston-based Acadia Center. “It shows states picking up on climate action in the wake of the Paris withdrawal.”

Read the full article from E&E News on Scientific American here.

CT, other states agree to tighter emissions cap

“Strengthening RGGI is one of the most effective and important steps to tackle climate pollution,” Peter Shattuck, director of Acadia Center’s Clean Energy Initiative, said in a statement. “Market based policies unleash the innovation and investment needed to achieve state climate targets and the goals of the Paris Agreement, and RGGI has shown just how well smart climate policy works.”

Read the full article from the Hartford Business Journal here.