Friday, November 18, 2011

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions... and saving money

From the Boston Herald:
A multi-state compact aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a cap-and-trade system has contributed nearly $500 million to the Massachusetts economy and created almost 3,800 in-state jobs over the past three years, according to a new report.

“We’ve seen a program that worked well in wholesale power markets and the use of the money has led to economic benefits in every state,” said Paul Hibbard, a former chairman of the Department of Public Utilities and a senior consultant at the Analysis Group, referring to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

“The bottom-line result is essentially that RGGI generates economic growth at a higher level than without the program in all the states” that participate, said Hibbard, an author of the study being described as a first-of-its kind review of the nation’s first market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Get that? This program reduces greenhouse gas emissions while saving money and increasing employment.

Personally, I think I'd prefer a carbon tax, but even this very conservative cap-and-trade system (backed even by Republicans before the party because completely anti-science) has paid off for the states involved.

There are more details at the Boston Herald. But perhaps I should include one final paragraph:
Though New Jersey was included in the Analysis Group report, Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced plans in May to pull his state out of the compact at the end of 2011. Despite investing nearly $30 million from RGGI into energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and tens of millions more to balance his state’s budget Christie called the program a “failure” and a “gimmick” that would not effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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