PSR Works to Strengthen Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
Given the dismantling of climate and air protections at the federal level, we need strong state level action now more than ever.
PSR is organizing health professionals in key states to strengthen the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is the first regional market-based carbon dioxide (CO2) trading program in the United States.
PSR chapters in Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Maryland are engaging in advocacy on RGGI, with PSR national working to amplify and increase their efforts.
RGGI has been effective in implementing real changes to reduce a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions: fossil-fuel-fired power plants. Since the program’s inception, RGGI states have reduced CO2 emissions by 16% more than other states. These changes have also reduced other harmful air pollutants such as NOx, Sox, particulate matter and ground-level ozone--pollutants that disproportionately impact low-income and communities of color.
Since 2009, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) states have saved $5.7 billion as well as pain, suffering and days lost from work and school.
RGGI is currently undergoing a review to determine how strong its cap on CO2 emissions will be going forward.
PSR recommends that the cap on emissions be reduced by 5% yearly, AND that funds earned through RGGI be heavily invested in communities that disproportionately face the harmful health effects of air pollution and climate change.
The health voice is critical to improving RGGI—ultimately benefitting the health of all communities. That’s why PSR members across the Northeast are encouraged to speak out for strong cuts in carbon emissions.
RGGI Fact Sheet on health benefits of the program
PSR and partner groups' comments on RGGI program review
Letter from PSR to the RGGI board, asking them to improve carbon emission reduction goals
Mainers have a right to clean air
April 30, 2017
Op-ed co-authored by PSR Maine Executive Director Karen D’Andrea.
Source: Sun Journal