Global Warming Solutions
The Maryland Department of Environmental Protection and officials from other Northeastern states are gearing up to make changes to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Northeast region’s landmark pollution program. RGGI caps global warming emissions from power plants and invests in clean energy. With your support, we can convince state officials to strengthen the program so that Maryland cuts more pollution and generates more clean energy.
Maryland: A leader in the fight on global warming
For more than a decade, Maryland has been at the forefront of national efforts to shift to clean energy and to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming.
By adopting strong policies, including a cap on the state’s global warming emissions, clean cars standards, renewable energy standards, strong energy efficiency programs, and tough emission standards for power plants, our state has shown that taking action to reduce global warming pollution can work.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a global warming program that works
In 2006, Maryland officials joined with New York, Delaware, and 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 has broken important ground. It’s the first program in the United States to limit global warming emissions 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 emissions.
And so far, RGGI has been a tremendous success. Maryland is investing 100 percent of proceeds, more than $51 million dollars so far, on programs to improve energy efficiency and to accelerate the development of cleaner energy sources. RGGI has already contributed to nearly $1.6 billion in consumer savings, 1,309 new jobs, and $189 million in economic growth in our state.
Maryland must hold the line since RGGI is under attack in Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey.
Fossil fuel interests, led by Americans for Prosperity and other anti-regulatory ideologues, and emboldened by the 2010 elections and the tough economy, have convinced their allies in a number of states to support killing RGGI. As a result, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Maine’s Governor Le Page have all announced their opposition to RGGI, and have attempted to kill or weaken the program. Backsliding on this precedent-setting policy would have serious repercussions in the overall debate on the response to global warming.
RGGI is only as effective as the participating states allow it to be. That’s why it’s so important for Maryland to hold the line by taking an active role in supporting RGGI, and making it even stronger.
Fortunately, there is strong public support in Maryland for reducing pollution from power plants and shifting to clean energy. Environment Maryland staff are working with a broad coalition, including local and state officials, organized labor, public health organizations and more, to convince state officials that RGGI is critical to Maryland’s efforts to meet our energy and environmental goals.
With your support, we can strengthen RGGI and cut global warming pollution.
In December, we worked with our allies to sign on 250 environmental groups, clean energy businesses, and public health officials to a set of principles to strengthen the program. We presented these principles to the top energy and environmental officials in the other Northeast states in RGGI.
In January, Maryland officials joined officials from Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, and Vermont in announcing their intention to begin the process of strengthening the RGGI emissions cap.
We’re making progress — but we need your support to defend and strengthen RGGI. Join our campaign today, and urge Gov. O'Malley to strengthen RGGI so we can expand Maryland’s efforts to reduce global warming pollution from power plants and shift to clean energy.
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