Statement from NECEC, Clean Energy Businesses on EPA Clean Power Plan Final Rule

Following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the final rule for carbon emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), NECEC (the New England Clean Energy Council) and leading clean energy businesses issued the following statements:

“The final Clean Power Plan rule is an opportunity to further modernize the electric power system, advance clean energy services and technologies, make the nation’s energy system cleaner, more competitive, and more secure and lead to job and economic growth,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “The Northeast region has seen real economic and environmental benefits from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which should be a core part of the mechanism for Northeast states to comply with the CPP, as well as an example for how others states can reduce energy costs, accelerate innovation and increase jobs and economic growth, while reducing carbon emissions in the power sector.  The issuance of the CPP begins a phase for the Northeast states to build on what they’ve already been doing – come together in a regional planning effort that builds on the significant clean energy progress in recent years, including updating and extending RGGI to 2030 to use RGGI’s market mechanism to converge on the most cost-effective opportunities to clean and advance our region’s energy system.”

RGGI has shown that by reducing carbon pollution and increasing our use of clean energy, regions can protect future generations from the impacts of climate change, while boosting our economy. Growing evidence proves that RGGI is providing tangible economic benefits in the Northeast. A recent report from the Analysis Group shows that all nine states participating in RGGI have experienced economic gains as a result. As a whole, the region has seen $2.76 billion in added economic value and 28,500 new job years of employment since 2009.

In addition, a new report from Acadia Center, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: A Model Program for the Power Sector, explains how RGGI is the right compliance mechanism for the Clean Power Plan and specific changes RGGI states must make in order to comply with CPP. The report finds that electricity prices are two percent lower in the Northeast since RGGI started and the region’s economy has grown by three percent. 

“These regulations are critically important building blocks in the fight against climate change,” said Geoff Chapin, CEO and founder of Boston-based home energy solutions company Next Step Living. “When pairing these regulations with individualized efforts, such as those from the more than 115,000 homeowners we’ve helped adopt more sustainable lifestyles, we can make a real difference towards lowering our nation’s carbon footprint.”

“Ameresco continues to encourage states to adopt strategies that promote public-private partnerships for energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said David J. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Ameresco. “Given energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Ameresco looks forward to assisting states to utilize energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to reduce emissions under the Clean Power Plan.“

“The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is a groundbreaking way to advancing the nation’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by modernizing our electric grid and enabling more clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Rob Pratt, Founder and Chairman of GreenerU. “We applaud the EPA for its leadership in helping American consumers and businesses have more control over their energy choices, while helping the environment.”

RGGI is a greenhouse gas reduction program that started in 2009 and has led to increased energy efficiency that has allowed the regional economy to gain more than $1.6 billion in economic value. Customers saved nearly $1.1 billion on electricity bills, and an additional $174 million on natural gas and heating oil bills, for a total of $1.3 billion in savings over the next decade. More than $765 million stayed in the local economy, rather than being spent on imported fossil fuels. And 16,000 jobs were created across the Northeast as energy bill savings were spent in the local economy.

About NECEC (New England Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute) NECEC is a regional non-profit clean energy business, policy and innovation organization whose mission is to accelerate the region’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of companies. NECEC works with clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs, policymakers and other stakeholders in the clean energy sector in New England and the Northeast through programs and initiatives that advance clean energy markets and help clean energy businesses access the resources they need to grow.

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