Nine eastern U.S. states agree to cut power plant emissions an extra 30%.

September 1, 2017

On August 23, 2017 nine eastern states announced that they have agreed on a proposal to cut global-warming pollution from the region’s power plants an additional 30 percent between 2020 and 2030.

The compact of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has worked for two years to hammer out the next step in their landmark emissions cap-and-trade program, which puts a price on carbon dioxide emissions from the production of electricity. The program has a track record of cutting emissions fairly painlessly across a densely populated section of the country.

Advocacy groups and policy makers have been closely watching the outcome of the negotiations. The RGGI states’ decision on how to move forward, which still must be finalized, is seen as a test case of states’ commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions as the Trump administration attempts to dismantle federal climate policies, including the Clean Power Plan that was the Obama administration’s plan for controlling power plant emissions.

The RGGI states—with five Republican governors and four Democratic governors—together represent the world’s sixth largest economy, with $2.8 trillion in GDP. California, where the legislature recently voted to extend its own cap-and-trade program through 2030, falls just behind in GDP, at $2.5 trillion.

Despite the bipartisan support for the proposal announced Wednesday, Republican administrations in three states—Maine, New Hampshire and Maryland—had previously expressed concern about the costs of more stringent cuts. In 2011, New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, withdrew his state from the coalition.

Ultimately, the RGGI states agreed to pursue one of the more ambitious proposals on the table, which calls for lowering emissions caps each year by 3 percent over the previous year. Under the current plan, their commitment is to lower the cap by 2.5 percent a year. Under the agreed upon proposal, power sector emissions would be 65 percent lower by 2030 than they were 2009, RGGI’s inaugural year.

By allowing utilities to trade emissions credits, RGGI encourages lower-cost solutions and also generates revenue for the states, which have used the money for energy conservation and other popular programs.

What this means to you.
Nine eastern states comprising the Regional Greenhouse Gas Imitative (RGGI) have agreed on a proposal to cut global-warming pollution from the region’s power plants an additional 30 percent between 2020 and 2030.

MIRATECH can help.
Contact MIRATECH to learn how to assure emission compliance control for your stationary industrial engines.