Leading States Urged to Take Stronger Action Against Power Plant Pollution

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Leading States Urged to Take Stronger Action Against Power Plant Pollution

BOSTON -
Today, representatives of nine states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are meeting to discuss taking stronger action to cut global warming pollution. These states are part of America’s most successful climate and clean air program, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  The program has already cut power plant pollution in half and invested more that $2.5 billion in clean energy over the past ten years. The nine member states – Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Delaware and Maryland, are preparing to make a decision about how much to cut pollution from 2020 to 2030. 
 
Madeline Page, global warming outreach director with Environment America, made the following statement:
 
“It’s official: In January, NASA announced that 2016 was the hottest year on record for our planet, breaking records last set in 2015 and 2014. We know global warming is happening and we know that we are the cause.
 
Here in New England, we’re feeling the impacts. Our region is warming faster than anywhere in the United States except for Alaska.
 
There’s never been a more urgent time to talk about cutting pollution. So we are glad to see the Northeast region updating the best regional clean air and climate program in America – the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
 
This program is a huge success. Across the region, our states have cut power plant pollution in half since 2005. And by participating in the program, we have generated more than $2.5 billion for clean energy investment.  
 
At the same time, the program has helped to clean our air and improve our health. A new analysis last month showed that over its first 6 years, the program saved 600 lives, averted 9,000 asthma attacks, and prevented 260,000 days where people would have had to restrict daily activities, such as exercise, due to air pollution. 
 
And the program is helping to accelerate our transition away from dirty fuels and toward clean energy – especially because we make power plant owners pay for every ton of pollution they emit. That is driving a lot of great clean energy projects in our communities.
 
However, we can and must do more. Over the next three months, we have a chance to double the strength of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Doing so would cut pollution faster, help us live longer and healthier lives, speed our transition to clean energy and strengthen our economy. 
 
With leadership unlikely to come from Washington DC, states must show the way forward. 
 
We urge the nine northeast governors to lead the charge on climate. We should double the strength of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to cut pollution in half again by 2030 and invest more in energy efficiency, wind and solar power. 
 
Together we can build a renewable energy future, and deliver clean air and a safe, healthy climate for us all.”
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Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Our professional staff in 27 states and Washington, D.C., combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for the environment. Environment America draws on 30 years of success in tackling environmental problems.

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