The win-win of putting a price on carbon.

Electricity bills in the Northeast have dropped $460 million dollars since that region put a price on carbon.

Back in 2011, nine Northeastern states established the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – better known as RGGI. And, the benefits of that regional cap-and-trade system just keep adding up.

Since it was established, that program has added $1.3 billion dollars of economic activity to the region, reduced carbon emissions by 15 percent, and saved customers a ton on their electric bills. Those are the facts according to an independent analysis released last week, and they prove that all the warnings about a carbon tax are nothing but Big Oil's fear mongering.

Critics of the RGGI plan warned that the system would cause a spike in electricity prices for consumers and put a damper on the local economy, but the program has had the opposite effect on both counts. The revenue collected from the program has been used to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy projects, and bill-payment assistance for consumers.

Those investments have helped stimulate the regional economy, and lower electric bills mean customers have more money to spend locally. And, the program has been so successful that it could be used as a model to help more states comply with the EPA's Clean Power Plan, which is set to be released next month.

One of the authors of the recent analysis report said, “The nine New England states' experience with RGGI can provide other states with valuable lessons for how one might comply with the CO2 regulations included in the Clean Power Plan.”

In just four years, the Northeast has developed and implemented a system that boosts their economies, reduces greenhouse gas, and lowers electricity bills for average Americans. That's what you call a win-win, and it's just the type of plan we should be implementing nation-wide.

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