Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cap and Trade Is Alive, and It Might Grow Under Trump

New Jersey could re-enter a regional carbon market. Gubernatorial candidates Kim Guadagno (R) and Phil Murphy (D) both support entering the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Credit: Master Sgt. Matt Hecht/U.S. Air National Guard/Flickr; Phil Murphy/Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative once labored in the shadows of President Obama's Clean Power Plan. No longer.  President Trump's dismantling of climate initiatives has pushed America's only multistate cap-and-trade program to the fore of U.S. carbon-cutting efforts.

RGGI, as the compact of nine Northeastern states is known, can already claim several impressive achievements.  Emissions are down 37 percent since 2008 across the region.  And electricity costs have fallen 3.4 percent over that time.  While the cheap cost of natural gas is responsible for much of that decline, RGGI advocates can argue that the program hasn't sent electric bills soaring as many once feared.

The program's participants, which include five Republican-led states, are now in talks over how to cut more carbon.  They are expected to release a plan for reducing the region's carbon cap later this year.

But if RGGI's influence is to expand in the age of Trump, the program must grow, supporters say.  That might happen soon.  New Jersey and Virginia look increasingly likely to link up with the program.

Read more at Cap and Trade Is Alive, and It Might Grow Under Trump

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