Portland, Maine—Northeast and Mid-Atlantic state officials today announced improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that would reduce power plant pollution in the region by more than 20 percent over the next decade. However, Gov. Paul LePage indicated he will propose legislation to redirect the revenue Maine receives from auctioning pollution credits under the program, which is currently invested in energy efficiency. Environment Maine Director Emily Figdor released the following statement in response:
“We applaud the Northeast states for leading the way in tackling the pollution that fuels global warming. Strengthening RGGI is one of the best ways we can reduce the pollution that causes global warming.
“However, it's critical that the revenue from the program is invested in energy efficiency, and that's what Maine is doing right now. Energy efficiency locks in energy savings that lowers bills not just today but year after year.
“Even before Superstorm Sandy, public concern about extreme weather fueled by global warming was on the rise. Now, it is even more urgent that Maine lawmakers do all they can to tackle global warming and ensure that RGGI substantially reduces carbon pollution, while maintaining the integrity of the program.”
Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working to preserve Maine’s open spaces, protect clean air and water, and steer the state toward a clean energy future. www.environmentmaine.org