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

Headline

South Portland City Council bans tar sands

SOUTH PORTLAND — South Portland made history Monday night when the City Council voted 6-1 to pass a land-use ordinance meant to prevent the bulk loading of tar sands oil on the city’s waterfront.

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Headline

South Portland Tar Sands Ban Enacted


The South Portland City Council has voted to ban the export of Canadian tar-sands crude through the city, effectively ending any attempt to bring the crude from western Canada through a pipeline into the city. 

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News Release

South Portland Passes Tar Sands Ordinance on Final Vote

South Portland—In an historic vote, the South Portland City Council tonight voted 6-1 to pass the Clear Skies Ordinance to protect the city from a tar sands crude oil terminal. 

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News Release

Environment Maine Statement on Historic Tar Sands Vote Tonight

Portland—The South Portland City Council tonight will take its final vote on the Clear Skies Ordinance, a narrow ordinance that will prohibit the bulk loading of crude oil, including tar sands, onto tankers on the waterfront, as well as new related infrastructure in the city.

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Report | Environment Maine

Driving Cleaner

Portland—More than 220,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are on America’s roads today, delivering real benefits for our health and our environment, according to a new report released today by Environment Maine. In just the last two years, annual sales of electric vehicles have increased by 500 percent.

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