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Monday, September 25, 2023

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Nevada organization calls for greater Latino engagement in politics; Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to change course on transgender rights; Nebraska Tribal College builds opportunity 'pipelines,' STEM workforce.'

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House Republicans deadlock over funding days before the government shuts down, a New Deal-style jobs training program aims to ease the impacts of climate change, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared at donor events for the right-wing Koch network.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

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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