Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions
Campaigns:

CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

THE ADIRONDACK COUNCIL, ALLIANCE FOR CLEAN ENERGY NEW YORK, CENTER FOR WORKING FAMILIES, CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, EARTHJUSTICE, ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES OF NEW YORK, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, NEW YORK PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP, PACE ENERGY & CLIMATE CENTER, PUSH BUFFALO, RENEWABLE ENERGY LONG ISLAND
For immediate release:
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
For more information contact:
Brian Smith, CCE, 716-472-4078 (mobile), bsmith@citizenscampaign.org
Erica Ringewald, Environmental Advocates of New York, (518) 210-9903 (mobile), eringewald@eany.org
John Sheehan, The Adirondack Council, (518) 432-1770 (mobile)

REGIONAL CLIMATE EFFORT CUTTING POLLUTION, CREATING JOBS & SAVING CONSUMERS MONEY IN WESTERN NEW YORK

RGGI Facts & Benefits

(Buffalo, NY)—Contrary to ongoing attacks by industry-funded out-of-state polluters, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is benefiting New Yorkers from Buffalo to Long Island by reducing pollution, creating new jobs, and reducing consumer utility bills. RGGI is the 10-state effort to cut climate-altering pollution from power plants.

What New Yorkers Need to Know about RGGI

RGGI is reducing pollution from power plants. Emissions from power plants in the RGGI region have dropped significantly since the program was formulated, falling 34 percent below the regional cap in 2009 and 27 percent below the cap in 2010. According to the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority’s data, the decline in emissions was primarily caused by decreased power generation from fuel oil and coal, and increased generation from clean, renewable energy sources and natural gas, as well as increased investments in energy efficiency. The economic downturn was one factor driving this trend, but not the dominant one.

While RGGI is not exclusively responsible for the decline in emissions, the program creates a revenue stream for clean energy and with it the long-term market certainty that encourages investments that reduce pollution.

RGGI is investing in New York State. New York has no coal mines, and thus every dollar spent on coal flows out of the state. RGGI funded investments in energy efficiency and renewables keep money in the local economy, boosting economic growth and creating jobs. When consumers save money on their energy bills, they have more to spend on goods and services offered by New York businesses. Recent analysis found that every $1 of RGGI funds invested in energy efficiency generates $5.90 in additional economic output, and efficiency investments to-date will create more than 6,500 job years of employment.

Since it was established through the end of 2010, RGGI has pumped more than $1,152,412.44 into Western New York to install energy efficiency measures such as new hot water heaters and improved insulation, as well as some solar installations.

Currently $112 million in RGGI auction proceeds is dedicated to the Green Jobs/Green New York program to support energy efficiency audits and financing, sustainable community development, workforce training, and green job creation across the state.

New York businesses like the certainty and benefits of RGGI. Two hundred and twenty seven businesses from across the RGGI region, including more than 30 companies from New York State, recently sent a letter to RGGI governors calling to continue and improve the effort. In the 10 participating states, not one company has publicly opposed RGGI.

In 2008, 10 states launched RGGI to reduce climate pollution from power plants. To date, it is the nation's only enforceable effort for cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

To learn more about the benefits of RGGI in New York, click here. http://www.nyserda.org/RGGI/Files/RGGI_Annual_Report_2010_Final.pdf  
And for benefits across all ten RGGI states, click here. http://www.rggi.org/rggi_benefits 


 

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by bsmith  8/16/11