Massachusetts, other Northeastern states show fighting global warming helps the economy

Media Contacts

Environment Massachusetts

Boston – Massachusetts and eight other Northeastern states have boosted the regional economy by $1.3 billion through a regional program that caps global warming pollution from power plants, according to a report released today by the Analysis Group. The report, The Economic Impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on Nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, found that in the last three years the Northeastern states have created 14,000 new jobs and saved consumers $460 million on their energy bills, while cutting power plant carbon pollution by more than a third.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the nation’s first multi-state program to limit global warming pollution from power plants. Through the program, states cap allowable pollution, sell pollution permits and then invest the revenues in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives. Developed by a bipartisan group of governors in the 2000s, the program has been operating since 2009.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement applauding the success of RGGI:

“Six years in, it is absolutely clear that this program works. It works to clean up dangerous global warming pollution. It works to accelerate our transition to clean energy. And as the report released today shows, it also works for our economy by generating revenue, by saving money on electricity bills and by creating jobs.

“Massachusetts and the other eight participating states have done the nation a great service by launching RGGI. These states have demonstrated that fighting global warming helps the economy, rather than hurting it.

“As states across the country prepare to implement the Clean Power Plan, the first national limit on global warming pollution from power plants, this report is proof that by tackling the one of the greatest challenges of our time, states can also create opportunities for economic growth.

“We’re eager to work with Governor Baker and his administration to implement the Clean Power Plan in Massachusetts and ensure that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative continues to be a success.”

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Environment Massachusetts is a statewide advocacy organization bringing people together for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. www.EnvironmentMassachusettsCenter.org