Undoing Clean Power Plan is a Missed Opportunity to Modernize US Energy System

Northeast US has seen real economic and environmental benefits from similar effort through RGGI

This week, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin undoing the US EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which mandates reductions in carbon emissions from the power sector.

As a clean energy business organization, NECEC is disappointed to see the President pass up this opportunity to support the plan which encourages market-driven approaches to modernize the electric power system, advance clean energy and make the nation's energy system cleaner, more competitive and more secure while leading to job and economic growth.

Here in the Northeast, we have seen real economic and environmental benefits from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a core part of the market model that other states and regions could implement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electric sector and invest in their energy futures.  

In the Northeast, RGGI, energy efficiency programs, renewable deployment targets and energy innovation investments from both the private and public sector have combined to lower emissions and reduce the cost of electricity bills, while supporting double-digit job growth and emergence of a clean energy industry to serve regional, national and global markets.

In fact, the 2015 report “The Economic Impacts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on Nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States," found that implementing RGGI from 2012-2014 added $1.3 billion in economic value to RGGI participating states, while led to the creation of more than 14,000 new jobs, all while cutting electricity and heating bills to the tune of $460 million in consumer savings.

NECEC expects the Northeast to continue on a path to meet and exceed the region’s CPP goals along with broader economic growth and regional competitiveness.  We will continue to work with our policymakers, business community and other leaders in the Northeast to build on RGGI and continue progress towards a robust clean energy economy.  

We urge other states and regions to engage in clean energy economic growth that leverages their region’s energy and economic assets, industry and growth opportunities.  We also urge the federal government and stakeholders in the Clean Power Plan initiative to come together to maintain the CPP with flexibility for cities, states and regions to implement plans that most cost-effectively reduce dangerous GHG emissions and accelerate their region’s clean energy future.

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Peter Rothstein

Peter is the President of NECEC.