Global Warming Solutions
Governor Deval Patrick and officials from other Northeast states are gearing up to make changes to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Northeast region’s landmark pollution program. RGGI caps global warming emissions from power plants and invests in clean energy. With your support, we can convince state officials to strengthen the program so that Massachusetts cuts more pollution and generates more clean energy.
Massachusetts: A leader in the fight against global warming
For more than a decade, Massachusetts has been at the forefront of national efforts to shift to clean, efficient, renewable energy and to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming.
By adopting strong policies, including a cap on the state’s global warming emissions, clean car standards, renewable energy standards, strong energy efficiency programs, and tough emission standards for power plants, our state has shown that taking action to reduce global warming pollution can work.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a global warming program that works
The Patrick Administration and the state legislature have provided critical leadership for one of the keystone programs in global warming policy to date — the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). As the first program in the United States to limit global warming emissions, sell permits to emit carbon and invest the revenues in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives, RGGI plays an important role in demonstrating that other states, other regions and the nation as a whole could use a similar model to reduce emissions.
RGGI has been a tremendous success. Massachusetts is investing 100% of proceeds from the Initiative — more than $142 million so far — in programs to improve energy efficiency and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy technologies.
Massachusetts must hold the line since RGGI is under attack in Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey.
Fossil fuel interests, led by Americans for Prosperity and other anti-regulatory ideologues, emboldened by the 2010 elections and the tough economy, have convinced their allies in several states to support killing RGGI. As a result, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Maine’s Governor Le Page have all announced their opposition to RGGI, and have attempted to kill or weaken the program. Backsliding on this precedent-setting policy would have serious repercussions in the overall debate on the response to global warming.
RGGI is only as effective as the participating states allow it to be. That’s why it’s so important for Massachusetts to hold the line by actively supporting RGGI and making it even stronger in our state.
Fortunately, there is strong public support in Massachusetts for reducing pollution from power plants and shifting to clean energy, as well as strong recognition of the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy. We are working with a wide array of stakeholders — including local and state officials, organized labor and public health organizations — to convince state officials that RGGI is critical to the state's effort to meet its energy and environmental goals.
With your support, we can strengthen RGGI and cut global warming pollution
In December, we worked with our allies to sign on 250 environmental groups, clean energy businesses, and public health officials to a set of principles to strengthen the program. We presented these principles to the top energy and environmental officials in the other Northeast states in RGGI.
In January, Massachusetts officials joined officials from Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont in announcing their intention to begin the process of strengthening the RGGI emissions cap.
We’re making progress — but we need your support to defend and strengthen RGGI. Join our campaign today, and urge Gov. Patrick to strengthen RGGI so we can expand Massachusetts' efforts to reduce global warming pollution from power plants and shift to clean energy.
Urge Gov. Deval Patrick to address global warming and strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
- RGGI has helped Massachusetts become the most energy efficient state in the country.
- RGGI has led to hundreds of energy efficiency investments in Massachusetts, including investment in a program at Springfield Technical Community College to train Massachusetts residents for new clean energy jobs.
- RGGI has also provided $18 million to support municipal efficiency projects.
- Massachusetts has been a leader in reducing global warming emissions by setting the strongest building codes in the country and recently tripling the utility investments in energy efficiency.
- The number of solar installations in MA has increased 24-fold since 2008.