Massachusetts Limits Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants

The commonwealth joins eight other states in restricting carbon dioxide emissions.


Massachusetts has signed an agreement with eight other states to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 90 million tons over the next six years.

As part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – the nation’s first mandatory “cap-and-trade” program for carbon dioxide emissions – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont are lowering the current  cap on power plant emissions from the 165  to 91 million tons per year, starting in 2014. After 2020, the cap will continue to lower by 2.5 percent per year.  

“This is one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction measures that we have seen,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. 

The RGGI Board of Directors estimates that under the new caps, the average Massachusetts residential customer’s monthly electricity bill of $72 will rise by 39 cents , the average commercial monthly bill of $455 will rise by $3.89, and the average industrial monthly bill of $6,659 will rise by $83.

"One reason the bill impact is modest is because Massachusetts invests more than 80 percent of the RGGI proceeds into energy efficiency, and for each dollar invested, a consumer saves approximately $3 from reduced energy usage," a press release from Gov. Deval Patrick's office states. 

The bill forces power plants to be more energy efficient, ultimately resulting in a lifetime savings of $1.1 billion for the state's households, businesses and other electricity users. 

D. I. Vided February 25, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Between the climate change propaganda and the fluff on what this will actually cost rate/tax payers, maybe the Sec. Sullivan ought to change the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) acronym to BS . No mention at all about what it will cost these power plants to install new equipment to meet these demands, the costs of downtime, inefficiencies, and in some cases development as we have seen the EPA in the past trying to enforce the use of technologies that do not yet exist. All of these costs, plus the $$$$ to buy the credits (presumable - the article does not state where this comes from) will ALL be borne by the rate/tax payer. All in the hopes of stopping "the climate" from doing what? changing? Recall please that one of the most fundamental aspects of existence is that "things" change. It makes far more sense to teach people how to adapt to a changing world than it does to make them debt slaves. Unless of course, you are the master.
Blowin Smoke February 25, 2013 at 10:15 PM
D.I.Vided is correct to say that things, including climate, can change. But when we are the CAUSE of the change (as is the case with climate change due to carbon emissions) we can't just shrug and say "oh well, change happens". The changes will impact all of us, in the form of rising sea level, increased storm intensities, and more floods, droughts, wildfires, crop failures, loss of biodiversity, etc.. Another change we'll have to accept, regardless of whether we like it, is the assumption that we can have endless economic and population growth powered by abundant fossil fuels. That era was great fun, but is winding down.
Robert Bastille February 26, 2013 at 03:45 AM
"I was born in a cross-fire hurricane And I howled at my ma in the driving rain, But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!" It's a gas, gas, gas.... I don't believe all that 'global warming' bs.... http://youtu.be/e9XKVTNs1g4


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