A regional plan to improve transportation and reduce pollution

When RGGI was being developed, opponents said that it would raise electricity costs and hurt the economy. As it turns out, they were wrong on both counts. Since RGGI was put in place, electricity prices in RGGI states have declined 5.7% while they have risen 8.6% in the rest of the country, and the economies of the participating states have grown 31% faster than the rest of the country, according to the non-partisan Acadia Center. What happened? One part of the story is that the price of natural gas declined. But perhaps even more importantly, RGGI helped the Massachusetts energy
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Cities Look to Natural Gas Bans to Curb Carbon Emissions

In Massachusetts, residential buildings account for roughly 15% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Commercial buildings represent another 9.5%. Power plants, by contrast, are responsible for almost 20% of Massachusetts’ greenhouse gases. “If we are going to decarbonize the economy, we have to stop putting gas in new buildings now,” said Deborah Donovan, Massachusetts director at the Acadia Center, an environmental group. “Building stock built now will be us in 2050 when we need to be decarbonized.” Read the full article from Scientific American here.

Climate Justice for Providence

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza had powerful words about the role equity must play in climate work when the city released its Climate Justice Plan in late October. “Despite being one of the three pillars of sustainability, equity is often an afterthought when it comes to climate action planning,” Elorza wrote in the plan’s introduction. “In creating this plan, we chose to lead with equity and partnered with those who are most impacted by the climate crisis and other environmental injustices.” Acadia Center is proud to have supported Providence and its Racial and Environmental Justice Committee (REJC) in developing a plan
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CT debates emissions, cars

“We’re not going to meet these goals with the way we’re going right now,” said Amy McLean Salls, a senior policy advocate at the Acadia Center, a member organization of the Connecticut Electric Vehicle Coalition. She said that overall, the Acadia Center was “pretty happy” with the draft road map. Read the full article from Yale Daily News here.

Marks joins Acadia Center as senior policy advocate

Jeff Marks joined Acadia Center as senior policy advocate and Maine director. Marks previously served as executive director of E2Tech, a business trade association of Maine’s energy and environmental companies. Prior to that role, he was deputy director of the Maine Energy Office where he advised state officials and agencies on energy, environmental and economic policy. Read the full article from Portland Press Herald here.

Deep State: Conservation — The Forgotten Alternative

The Acadia Center, a regional environmental group based in Rockport, recommends 500 new inter- and intracity electric buses for Maine at a cost of $750,000 each. The center’s Jordan Stutt told me that this very large expense ($375 million, plus the cost of electricity-charging stations) could be financed by a “cap-and-invest” (a.k.a. cap-and-trade) agreement with oil companies similar to the existing emissions-trading agreements between power plants and 11 Northeastern states, including Maine, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Read the full article from The Free Press here.