Thursday, July 27, 2017

Council Urges Stronger Carbon Emissions Standards

Here's the full press release:

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 26, 2017—Today the Montgomery County Council sent a letter to Governor Larry Hogan urging him to take a stand against climate change by supporting stronger carbon emissions reduction standards in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  

Maryland is one of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that are part of RGGI, a regional cap-and-trade system on power plant carbon emissions established in 2009.  Last year RGGI began a review to determine whether to adopt a lower cap and stricter standards.  All nine Councilmembers signed a letter to Gov. Hogan asking the state to back increasing RGGI’s annual emissions reduction target to five percent.

“The urgency with which more aggressive emission reduction goals are needed has only increased in recent months given our federal government’s shortsighted and negligent decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement,” wrote the Councilmembers.  “It is more important than ever that state and local governments do their part.  And it has become increasingly clear that doing so will not hurt our economy.  Power generators under existing RGGI standards have successfully adapted to current standards while continuing to provide a reliable supply of electricity.”

RGGI is expected to announce the results of its review this summer.  Maryland is represented on the Board of Directors of RGGI, Inc., by Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Benjamin Grumbles and Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin Hughes.

“The regional cap-and-trade system established by RGGI in 2009 has proven to be a success, with 2015 power plant emissions in the participating states falling 6.3 percent below the cap and electricity prices across the region decreasing by 3.4 percent on average compared to a 7.2 percent increase in other states,” wrote the councilmembers.  “During this time, the nine RGGI states reduced carbon emissions by 16 percent more than other states while experiencing 3.6 percent more economic growth, according to a 2016 study by the Acadia Center.  Even stronger standards will bring stronger results.”

The complete letter can be viewed at:

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