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

State puts climate change planning on shelf; towns fend for themselves

A howling storm, tidal surge, downed power lines, beaches swept away, coastal residents evacuated.

Hurricane Sandy?

Yes, but it is also the story of the Patriots Day storm of 2007 along the southern Maine coast.

Experts say both storms are harbingers of yet more severe storms to come, made worse by the effects of a warming climate.

> Keep Reading
Headline

Is Maine experiencing more 'extreme' precipitation?

According to a Maine-based environmental advocacy group, there is evidence that Maine has been experiencing warmer temperatures and more “extreme precipitation” events in recent years.

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Headline

5 Climate Hawks Who Won on Tuesday

Climate-minded voters were pleased to see President Obama reelected on Tuesday, and to hear him call out "the destructive power of a warming planet" in his victory speech. But they also scored some notable wins in state houses and Congress this year. Here are five "climate hawks" that will take office in 2013.

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News Release | Environment Maine

A Wake Up Call

Dozens of Americans are dead; thousands of homes have been damaged or lost; entire communities have been submerged under water; lives have been disrupted; the costs have been estimated to be as high as $50 billion. As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it, after Hurricane Sandy, "Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality." 

> Keep Reading
Headline

Maine offshore wind topic of new report

A new report spells out what has to be done to make offshore wind power off Maine's coast a reality.

> Keep Reading

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