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Ben Hellerstein,
Environment Massachusetts

Northeast states propose new regional limit on global warming pollution, but more ambition needed

For Immediate Release

Boston – Today, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states announced a proposal to cut power plant pollution by at least 30 percent from 2020 to 2030. The proposal would strengthen what is already the best regional clean air and climate protection program in the country, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, issued the following statement in response:

“While the states are moving in a positive direction, this proposal falls short of what’s needed to truly tackle the climate crisis. We urge Governor Charlie Baker and other state leaders to strengthen the proposal in the coming weeks, so that we can fully realize the promise of clean energy and demonstrate even more leadership on climate. 

With every day, it becomes more clear that the impacts of global warming are accelerating. Last year was hotter than any previous year in human history, breaking records set in 2015 and 2014. The Northeast is warming faster than any other region in the United States except for Alaska. We're feeling the effects, from extreme snow and rain storms to last summer’s severe drought.

We must move to 100 percent renewable energy across all sectors. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are in a position to do much more, and they should.

We know the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative works. Making the program more ambitious is the right thing to do. And we can take it even further than the states proposed today – cutting even more pollution, faster.

We urge Governor Baker and the other governors to strengthen the proposal in the coming weeks, so that we can fully realize the promise of clean energy and demonstrate even more leadership on climate. Our climate can’t wait.”

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative limits dangerous pollution from power plants in Massachusetts and across the region – helping to slow the warming of our planet and clean up our air. It also fuels investment in clean energy by making polluters pay to pollute.

So far, RGGI has helped to cut power plant pollution in half since 2005, while generating $2.7 billion for states to invest in clean energy, energy efficiency and consumer benefit programs.

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The Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting Massachusetts’ air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help Bay Staters make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.