BY RAMONA DU HOUX
September 10, 2012
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) brought in $1.506,951.72 for various weatherization and energy efficiency programs in Maine from the 17th cap-and-trade auction. RGGI is the nation’s first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program has made the state, in total, $33,022,291.71 since the Baldacci administration helped to spearhead the consortium’s inception four years ago.
“Smart investments enabled by the RGGI auctions are creating jobs and returning significant cost savings to our region’s business and residential consumers,” said David Littell, a commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and vice-chair of RGGI Inc. “Every dollar we keep in our region supports growth in local economies.”
The nine RGGI states in the cap-and-trade consortium are conducting a review of the program’s first three years of implementation. The CO2 emissions average from 2009 to 2011 is expected to be the lowest in the decade, because of RGGI emission reductions.
RGGI is viewed as a model standard that could be implemented in regional areas across America.
“RGGI was a bipartisan, industry and government, public private model,” said former Governor John Baldacci.
“The RGGI auctions are serving as a model for efficient distribution of allowances for pollution reduction trading programs,” said Littell, who is also former commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The next RGGI auction is scheduled for December 5, 2012.