Climate leadership

Nine states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic currently participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), taking the lead nationally in promoting cleaner energy and reducing air pollution. The RGGI, begun in 2009, is a multi-state program to reduce carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases from major power plants. This successful market-based program works by requiring these pollution sources to buy emission “allowances” -a kind of permit- to emit carbon dioxide, and there are only so many “allowances” available in the 9-state region. Each participating state holds a “share” of these allowances, and revenues from the sale of allowances are reinvested by each state in energy-efficiency programs and other measures to reduce emissions.

This model program is expected to be a core compliance tool moving forward as our nation tackles near-term climate pollution reduction goals of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 while keeping us on the path to reductions of 80 percent by 2050. RGGI is undergoing a review in 2016 which is expected to align our regions approach and targets with the requirements under the Clean Power Plan.

Key elements of RGGI:

  • Nine participating states; Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont
  • Caps power plant emissions at initial level of 91 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • 2.5% per year reduction in emissions from 2015 – 2020
  • Auctions of allowances (permits to emit CO2) that generates revenues in states about $3.9 billion for the region
  • Promotes investments of allowance revenues in energy efficiency and consumer protections
  • Allows a small percent of reductions needed to be meet through “offsets”

Two recent reports provide more information about the economy-wide benefits of RGGI and a state by state benefit analysis.

AMC at work on RGGI:

Promoting clean energy and efficiency are key to reducing air pollution that impacts natural areas and the health of anyone recreating outdoors RGGI will reduce carbon as well as cut down on pollution that causes ozone, acid rain, and haze.

2016 – AMC calls on NH and Maine to support RGGI revisions

2015 – NH groups call for strong updates to RGGI in 2016 review

2014 – AMC testimony at Clean Power Plan hearing highlighting role of RGGI in our region

2013 – AMC Comments in support of strengthening RGGI.

AMC applauded RGGI Governors for making a real difference in the battle on human-caused climate change.

2012 – RGGI program review.

2011 – NH RGGI Repeal Bill Defeated.

2009 – Coalition RGGI Lessons Learned.

2007 – AMC comments on Maine RGGI rules.

2005 – AMC Press Release on RGGI proposal.