Big Return on Investment for Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in New York State
(March 1, 2011) -
According to a report released yesterday by RGGI, Inc., New York's role in the nation's first enforceable effort to reduce the pollution that is changing our climate is benefiting New York State in meaningful ways.
A statement follows from the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, American Lung Association in New York, Environmental Advocates of New York, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York Interfaith Power & Light, and Pace Energy & Climate Center:
"The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is creating jobs, saving New Yorkers money, keeping the energy grid stable by increasing energy efficiency, and making significant investments in clean energy.
"To date, New York State has invested $150 million from RGGI auctions, 80 percent of total auction revenue, in programs to benefit consumers. Much of these monies have gone to the Green Jobs Green New York program, which is anticipated to save New Yorkers $600 million in energy bill savings thanks to energy efficiency measures. The program will train 6,000 new workers to support an estimated 56,000 weatherization projects statewide.
"According to the report, RGGI investments have already benefited consumers in the 10 RGGI states by decreasing energy bills up to 30 percent. And in New York, the state is saving $3 to $4 for every RGGI dollar invested.
"New York is making smart investments with RGGI dollars. Investments that benefit consumers statewide while reducing air pollution.”
The 10 states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have implemented the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.