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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.

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.

Northeast states eye more stringent air pollution restrictions

Peter Shattuck of the Boston-based environmental group Acadia Center and director of the group’s Clean Energy Initiative, said the federal government’s withdrawal from international efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses “has created a void that is being filled by the states through groups like RGGI.” Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are Connecticut’s partners in RGGI, which makes the group a formidable force in international efforts to reduce global warming, according to Shattuck.

“The RGGI states combined represent the sixth-largest economy in the world,” he said. Acadia Center is a Boston-based environmental group with offices in Connecticut.

Read the full article from the New Haven Register here.

Nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative further clamps down on power sector emissions

The Boston-based Acadia Center said the bipartisan governors are “filling the void of irresponsible federal policy” and at “the vanguard of climate action following the Trump administration’s misguided decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord.”

Read the full article from Mass Live here, also published in The Springfield Republican.

9 Eastern States Agree to Cut Power Plant Emissions an Extra 30%

According to a recent analysis by the Acadia Center, carbon dioxide emissions from the RGGI states have fallen more than 40 percent compared to 2008 levels. In 2016, their annual CO2 emissions fell to just under 80 million tons.

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One of those would lower the post-2020 cap by the amount of excess allowances banked in the years leading to 2020, which the Acadia Center has estimated could prevent nearly 50 million tons of carbon pollution. The other would automatically lower the cap, by up to 10 percent a year, if allowances fall below expected levels.

Read the full article from InsideClimate News here.

California Shows How States Can Lead on Climate Change

Attention now turns to the Northeast, where nine states, including New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, are part of what is known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which, like California’s effort, is a market-based cap-and-trade program that goes beyond state boundaries. So far, R.G.G.I., as it is known for short, has helped reduce emissions from power plants in the region by 40 percent between 2008 and 2016, according to the Acadia Center, a research and public interest group. States are now negotiating the future of the program beyond 2020.

Read the full editorial from The New York Times here.

Greens fear momentum loss in 9-state climate pact

Peter Shattuck, director of the Acadia Center’s Clean Energy Initiative, said the decision has become increasingly important in the wake of President Trump’s announcement of the United States leaving the Paris Agreement.

An Acadia Center study found that emissions in the RGGI region fell by 37 percent after 2008, the year the program was instituted, while electricity prices fell by more than 3 percent.

“I think they need to follow through on the commitments they’ve made on climate change,” Shattuck said. “This is now an issue of global importance.”

Read the full article from E&E News here (article may not be available without subscription). 

RGGI Auction Prices Reflect Need for Program Reforms

BOSTON — Price declines in the latest Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction demonstrate the need to address an oversupply of allowances caused by faster-than-anticipated emissions declines. In the latest auction, all 14,791,315 available allowances were sold at a clearing price of $3.55, generating $52,509,168 in revenue for reinvestment. This brings the program’s total revenue to $2.64 billion-most of which has been used to fund energy efficiency and other consumer benefit programs. The Auction 34 clearing price is 22% lower than the previous auction and 53% lower than the clearing price from one year ago. This marks the lowest auction clearing price since December of 2013 and the least amount of auction revenue raised at a single auction since December of 2012.

 “State leadership to combat climate change has never been more important,” said Acadia Center President, Daniel Sosland. “Low prices and declining emissions confirm that now is the time for RGGI states to strengthen the program and continue leading the nation on climate.”

“Declining RGGI prices are occurring alongside declining emissions,” said Jordan Stutt, Policy Analyst with Acadia Center. “Electric sector carbon emissions through the first three quarters of 2016 were 5% below the same period last year — the lowest emissions level in the program’s history, and this is poised to be the eighth consecutive year in which emissions fall below the RGGI cap.”

With the market oversupplied, the ongoing 2016 Program Review offers the states an opportunity to make necessary reforms. “We now have eight years of experience demonstrating that the electric sector can achieve ambitious emissions reductions at low costs; it’s time for that experience to be reflected in ambitious reforms,” said Peter Shattuck, Director of Acadia Center’s Clean Energy Initiative. “The states must use the Program Review to establish more stringent cap levels through 2030 and to implement program design elements that account for the continuing decline in emissions.”

Information on RGGI’s performance to date and necessary reforms through the 2016 Program Review are described in Acadia Center’s recent RGGI Status Report:

Additional information on the benefits of RGGI can be found at https://www.cleanenergyeconomy.us/

RGGI Overview:
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nine northeastern and mid-Atlantic states reduce CO2 emissions by setting an overall limit on emissions “allowances,” which permit power plants to dispose of CO2 in the atmosphere. States sell allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in consumer benefit programs: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other programs.


The official RGGI web site is: www.rggi.org