News release from Maine Legislature
Today in Augusta, a bi-partisan group of legislators and citizens spoke in support of LD 1090, a bill that adopts a regional initiative known as RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative), which would reduce global warming pollution from power plants by nearly 20% by the year 2019.
RGGI can save electricity customers 5 to 15% on electricity bills, help protect against rate increases, generate an “energy fund” that would help Mainers save money and invest in energy efficiency, and create a new “carbon market” in the Northeast, with opportunities for everyone from dairy farmers to high-tech companies.
Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection identified RGGI as the most important next step for Maine to cut global warming pollution. Nine northeast states are working towards this bi-partisan, regional approach to reducing global warming pollution from power plants. Together these states, add up to the seventh largest source of global warming pollution in the world and more than 30% of this pollution comes from dirty power plants.
”Global warming threatens Maine’s economy, environment and our way of life,” says Speaker of the House Glenn Cummings. “This power plant global warming bill will help prevent global warming pollution while improving our economy and health and saving money on energy.”
“LD 1090 will reduce global warming pollution from power plants while benefiting every Mainer who pays an energy bill,” says Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Sen. Philip Bartlett. “This bill protects our health and environment while making Maine more efficient and creating new business opportunities.”
This bill allocates all revenue from the auction of carbon credits towards energy efficiency in order to maximize benefits to energy consumers.
“LD 1090 is good for Maine’s economy and environment, because it supports energy efficiency. Reducing energy costs leaves more money in Mainers’ pockets to spend on other products and services, increasing economic activity here at home,” says Lisa Pohlmann, Associate Director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy. “This bill stimulates economic investment, innovation, and new kinds of business opportunities.”
“By encouraging Maine businesses to embrace energy efficiency, LD 1090 makes Maine businesses stronger and more competitive, makes jobs more secure and reduces money leaving Maine to buy fuel,” says Natural Resources Committee Chair Rep. Theodore Koffman. “Investments in energy efficiency in Maine businesses and manufacturing facilities make it more likely that they will stay in Maine and create jobs.” Efficiency is the largest untapped energy source in Maine. We currently are using less than 20% of the available cost-effective efficiency in Maine.”
“Global warming is a Maine issue, not a partisan one,” says Senator Dana Dow. “Global warming sickens our forests, eats up our coastline, and hurts all businesses that rely on recreation and natural resources. It is time for Maine to step up to the plate and do our part to help prevent global warming. This bill harnesses the power of the free-market to find the most cost-effective way of reducing global warming pollution. We’ve used cap & trade before and it works.”
Coastal flooding from sea-level rise, a faltering winter recreation economy, and more asthma and Lyme disease are some of the warning signs that Maine is already experiencing from global warming.
LD 1090 is supported by the Environmental Priorities coalition of more than 20 environmental organizations, as well as the Maine Center for Economic Policy, Maine Interfaith Power & Light, and the Maine Global Warming Action Coalition.
LD 1090, “An Act To Authorize the State’s Participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” is sponsored by Rep. KOFFMAN of Bar Harbor and cosponsored by:
Senators: BARTLETT of Cumberland, BENOIT of Sagadahoc, DAMON of Hancock, DOW of Lincoln, MARTIN of Aroostook, MILLS of Somerset, TURNER of Cumberland, and President EDMONDS of Cumberland
Representatives: BERRY of Bowdoinham, BLISS of South Portland, BRAUTIGAM of Falmouth, CONOVER of Oakland, DUCHESNE of Hudson, EATON of Sullivan, EBERLE of South Portland, HINCK of Portland, MARLEY of Portland, MIRAMANT of Camden, PENDLETON of Scarborough, PINGREE of North Haven, PIOTTI of Unity, SIMPSON of Auburn, TREAT of Farmingdale, WATSON of Bath, and Speaker CUMMINGS of Portland
Learn more about the RGGI bill.
Sea-level rise and its affect on Maine’s coast. View our maps and study.
Northeast’s Global Warming Pollution – 7th highest in the world.
Efficiency Maine Program Savings
Maine’s Energy Efficiency Investments