Maine is a leader in the fight on global warming

For more than a decade, Maine has been at the forefront of national efforts to shift to clean energy and to reduce the pollution that contributes to global warming.  

Maine has adopted strong policies that work to reduce global warming, including a requirement that we obtain an increasing portion of our electricity from new renewable sources, standards to reduce pollution from cars and light trucks, and strong energy efficiency programs. 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: A success to build on

In 2007, Maine joined with 10 other states in the Northeast to establish one of the most important global warming reduction programs in the country — the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

RGGI has broken important ground. It’s the first program in the United States to limit global warming pollution from power plants, sell permits to emit carbon, and invest the revenues in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives. Even more importantly, RGGI is a model for the country. It has demonstrated that other states, other regions, and the nation as a whole could use a similar model to reduce pollution. 

And so far, RGGI has been a tremendous success. Maine is investing the proceeds, more than $27 million dollars so far, on programs to improve energy efficiency and to accelerate the development of cleaner energy sources. RGGI has already saved Maine consumers $120 million, created more than 900 new jobs, and grown Maine’s economy by $92 million.

About one-third of RGGI investments have helped industrial companies, like Madison Paper in Somerset County, make energy efficiency improvements. Among other improvements, the grants will enable Madison Paper to install new heat exchangers to capture heat from its wastewater and papermaking process. All told, these energy improvements will save Madison Paper $2 million annually. Madison’s Reliability Engineer Joe Clark explains, “These savings will help secure the future of an established paper mill facing difficult economic pressures.” Most of the remaining funds have supported Efficiency Maine’s Business Program.

Despite these results, fossil fuel interests, led by Americans for Prosperity and other anti-regulatory ideologues, are trying to kill or weaken the program. However, the Maine Legislature rejected a bill in 2011 to pull Maine out of the program.

Now, advocates in Maine and across the Northeast are calling for the state officials to update and strengthen the program so that it delivers even greater environmental and economic benefits.

Fortunately, there is strong public support in Maine for reducing pollution from power plants and shifting to clean energy.  Environment Maine staff are working with a broad coalition to convince state officials strengthen RGGI, which is critical to Maine’s efforts to meet our energy and environmental goals.  

With your support, we can strengthen RGGI and cut global warming pollution.

We’re making progress — but we need your support to defend and strengthen RGGI. Join our campaign today, and urge state lawmakers to strengthen RGGI so we can expand Maine’s efforts to reduce global warming pollution from power plants and shift to clean energy.



Global Warming Updates

News Release | Environment Maine

New Report: Wind energy, tax credits needed to combat global warming

Wind energy is on the rise in Maine and is providing large environmental benefits for the state, according to a new report released today by Environment Maine. Maine’s wind energy avoided 1 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution in 2013, which is equivalent to eliminating the pollution from more than 110,000 cars. The report also finds that Maine has the potential to get 30% of its energy from wind power, enough to avoid pollution from over 2 million cars. 

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Report | Environment Maine Research & Policy Center

More Wind, Less Warming

American wind power already produced enough energy in 2013 to power 15 million homes. Continued, rapid development of wind energy would allow the renewable resource to supply 30 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030, providing more than enough carbon reductions to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Maine Attorney General Defends EPA Action on Climate

On Monday evening, Attorney General Janet Mills joined 13 additional states and the District of Columbia to stand up for new EPA rules on global warming pollution. The attorneys general jointly filed a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, defending EPA against an attack launched by Murray Energy Corporation, a coal-mining company.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Environment Maine Endorses Candidates for 2014 Elections

Environment Maine today announced the endorsement of Chellie Pingree and Emily Cain for Congress and 24 candidates for the Maine Legislature. Environment Maine previously endorsed Mike Michaud for governor.

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News Release | Environment America

Report: U.S. power plants world’s 3rd largest carbon polluters, edging out India

As world leaders prepare to gather here for the United Nations Climate Summit next week, a new study shows that U.S. power plants alone produce more carbon pollution than the entire economies of India, Russia, Japan or any other nation besides China.

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