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New Data Shows Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Working for Bay State

As state lawmakers consider a measure to boost wind energy, a new report shows the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is producing major carbon pollution drops in the Bay State and region. (Kim Hansen)
As state lawmakers consider a measure to boost wind energy, a new report shows the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is producing major carbon pollution drops in the Bay State and region. (Kim Hansen)
July 29, 2016

BOSTON - A new report finds the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is producing major drops in climate pollution in states such as Massachusetts, and despite dire predictions, the economies of RGGI states are leading the nation.

Peter Shattuck, is director of the Clean Energy Initiative at the nonprofit Acadia Center, which produced the new report. Shattuck said CO2 emissions dropped by just over 6 percent below the initiative's cap in 2015; and there have been greater reductions over the long term.

"Massachusetts and other states participating in RGGI have been able to curb carbon pollution by 37 percent since the program started, even as electricity prices remain below where they were when RGGI started," he said.

Shattuck said despite opponents' claims that these environmental efforts would be a drain on the economy, the new research found the economies of Massachusetts and the other states participating in RGGI are outpacing the rest of the nation.

Shattuck said Massachusetts and other states in the initiative are conducting a review of the program and will soon determine what kind of emission-level reductions states in the initiative should aim for by 2030. Meantime, he said, state lawmakers have a measure pending to expand clean energy in the Bay State.

"The Legislature right now is considering a bill that would launch the nation's first offshore wind industry, and would support other forms of clean energy," he added.

The measure, S. 2400, is expected to come up for a vote during the final days of the state legislative session over the weekend.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA