Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Carbon Markets Pay Off for These States as New Businesses, Jobs Spring Up

A 3-year review found $1.4 billion in economic benefits across the 9 RGGI states, no harm to electric grid reliability, and long-term benefits for residents.

States in RGGI (NJ is in but not shown here)
Nine years after its launch, the nation's first mandatory carbon-trading program is still boosting the economy and creating jobs while continuing to cut power plant emissions in its nine-state region, a new report shows.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, wasn't designed for economic development, but that's been an important outcome, the Analysis Group, an economic research firm, reported Tuesday.

The nine Eastern states [NJ rejoined after this analysis] gained $1.4 billion in economic benefits from RGGI over the past three years because of the way they invested proceeds from the cap-and-trade program, the analysts found.  The biggest payoff came in investments in energy efficiency programs, which have led to more businesses and jobs in activities such as energy audits and installing energy-efficiency equipment.

The analysts also found that the cap-and-trade system has not undermined the reliability of the electricity grid, and it has not led to a net increase in electricity bills.

Indeed, the financial benefits clearly exceed the costs, and have done so in each three-year period since the program's inception, adding at least $4 billion over the program's nine years.  That doesn't include climate-related benefits, such as reducing health costs and damages related to climate change, or the additional money states saved by buying less fossil fuel from out-of-state suppliers ($1.37 billion over the past three years).

The report shows a program that has low risks and clear financial benefits, the analysts said.

Read more at Carbon Markets Pay Off for These States as New Businesses, Jobs Spring Up

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