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

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Olympia Snowe, environmentalists welcome new fuel standards

The average gas mileage of new cars and trucks will have to nearly double by 2025 under regulations that were finalized Tuesday by the Obama administration.  In Maine, Tuesday’s announcement was met with enthusiasm by environmental groups and at least one member of Maine’s congressional delegation.

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Maine Environmentalists Praise New MPG Rules

 Maine environmentalists celebrated the adoption of new federal regulations that will nearly double the average gas mileage of new cars and trucks by 2025, calling them a major step toward reducing global warming while saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced fuel costs.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Obama Admin. To Finalize Historic Clean Car Standards

Portland, Maine—The Obama administration today will finalize new clean car standards that will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing carbon pollution and cutting oil use in Maine and nationwide.  The standards will cover new cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025, and require those vehicles to average the equivalent of a 54.5 miles-per-gallon standard by 2025.  A recent joint analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists projects that in Maine alone the standards will cut carbon pollution by 1.12 million metric tons annually starting in 2030—the equivalent of the annual pollution from 170,000 of today’s vehicles—and save 95 million gallons of fuel each year.  

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Maine Gets a Good Environmental Report Card

Maine is ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing global warming pollution. That's according to the environmental advocacy group Environment Maine.

The group released their new study in Portland outside Revision Energy, which makes things like solar-powered cars. The study shows Maine and other northeast states reduced global warming pollution over the last decade, while at the same time growing their economies faster than the rest of the nation.

A group spokesperson says while the region, in their estimation, is too still dependent on fossil fuels, Maine is making positive strides.

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Study: RGGI Helps Northeast's Environment and Economy

A report released today by the advocacy group Environment Maine concludes that it is possible to tackle global warming and at the same time achieve robust economic growth. The study finds that the Northeast region as a whole cut emissions 20 percent faster than the rest of the nation between 2000 and 2009. At the same time the region's GDP per capita grew 87 percent faster.

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