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Expert warns of upcoming threats to democracy across the nation; Judge in Trump documents case rejects suggestions to step aside; NC businesses fear effects of 'bathroom bill'; Report says restaurants allow abuse, disease risk at MD animal farms.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Report: RGGI Could Do More than Reduce Emissions

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Tuesday, April 11, 2023   

A new report aims to make the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative more effective. The Acadia Center's report finds since the RGGI's creation in 2009, states like Connecticut have seen a 50% reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. States in the program saw a 91% decrease in coal-generated electricity, and a more than 800% increase in solar and wind energy.

Amy Boyd, vice president of Climate and Clean Energy Policy at the Acadia Center, said RGGI could do better in some areas - by investing 40% to 50% of its proceeds in environmental justice in communities burdened by the harmful effects of emissions.

"And allow 'EJ' community members to participate in such decisions - and as I said, transparently track and report actual data that shows whether those investments are delivering the results that they've intended," Boyd said.

Other recommendations include having additional air-quality monitoring for nitrogen oxides or 'NOx.' Bridgeport's Harbor Station Plant ranked low on a list of 'NOx'-emitting plants - despite emitting 969 tons into the air yearly. The EPA's new Good Neighbor Plan aims to cut smog-forming NOx in a handful of states, including Connecticut.

12 states along the East Coast are part of RGGI, and the program provides an important framework for a federal cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions, Boyd noted.

"I think RGGI sets a really good example for a way that it can be done," she said. "And I think that, even if the feds were to somehow put together such a program, I think RGGI could be a way that these 12 states can sort-of get a jump on implementing it."

The RGGI states are in the midst of the third program review, with a series of public meetings being held to get feedback.


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The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

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