January 26, 2016

Maine among states urging EPA to adopt changes

Maine is among eight other states that have urged the EPA to adopt a new trading platform for its Clean Power Plan and for the organization to encourage other states to adopt a mass-based approach to their emissions reduction strategies as a way to create a more diverse carbon market.

Maine and the other states participate in a program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI, a northeastern cap-and-trade system that has regulated carbon dioxide emissions from power plants over the past seven years.

"The EPA has the chance to encourage emission reduction approaches that have already proven successful. The RGGI states have seen benefits to the economy, consumer savings, and public health, while reducing power sector carbon pollution and supporting grid reliability," the nine states said in a joint statement sent by the scheme's operator, RGGI Inc., according to Carbon Pulse.

The RGGI states called for the EPA to:

  • Adopt a mass-based program for the federal plan and encourage states to adopt a mass-based program in their compliance plans. They said mass-based approaches are the most cost-effective, transparent and reliable way to achieve emission reductions;
  • Adopt a trading platform that is flexible and customizable to encourage broader trading markets;
  • Encourage auctioning and reinvestment of auction proceeds, citing the benefits of RGGI's own re-investment of auction revenue;
  • Include new sources in a mass-based program, which they said would be the most effective means of preventing leakage from existing sources to new sources.

RGGI has contributed an estimated $215 million to Maine's economy over the last six years, mostly due to savings on energy bills by residences and businesses.

Read more

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