States participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have seen economic benefits in regulating carbon emissions through market-based mechanisms.
A new report from the Analysis Group says RGGI is one option states can use under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Power Plan to limit power plant carbon emissions across the country. The report, “The Economic Impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on Nine northeast and Mid-Atlantic States,” found that implementing RGGI from 2012-2014 adds $1.3 billion in economic value to the nine states in the RGGI region, created more than 14,000 new jobs and saved consumers $460 million.
Six New England states, plus New York, Delaware and Maryland establish a regional cap for carbon emissions. The states then create their own individual plans to cut carbon and offer a declining number of carbon emission allowances for sale through regional auctions. Power plant owners than buy those allowances at auction, or find ways to clean up emissions. The proceeds of the auction go back to the states.
“Based on an analysis of years of hard data, RGGI shows that multi-state, market-based carbon control mechanisms work and can deliver positive economic benefits,” said Paul Hibbard of Analysis Group. “That’s not to say programs designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions are economic development programs – their goals are different. But the data clearly show that cutting carbon emissions can be a net positive for the economy.”
The report looked at how individual states have invested the revenue, including funding energy efficiency programs, building community-based renewable power projects, putting greenhouse-gas reduction measures in place, and offering training for clean-energy jobs.
The report was released during a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) meeting. A prior report focused on RGGI’s economic impacts from 2009 to 2011.
To download the report, click here.
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