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.


stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 45 weeks ago

The only way RGGI is going to happen nationwide is if big-oil gets their knees capped; and with congress protecting big-oil, that's never going to happen.

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 7 years 45 weeks ago

Another Global Warming Fantasy and Thom knows it ! Give me a break, private energy companies voluntarily swallowing those carbon taxes thus penalizing their stock holders and reducing their executive's bonuses by reducing their corporate bottom lines without passing those losses through to their customers ? Many Americans were born at night, but it wasn't last night !

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 45 weeks ago

Nine New England States:). Let me see. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachussets, Connecticut and Rhode Island. That's only six. This lack of accuracy creates a credibility issue on the entire report.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 7 years 45 weeks ago

Thank God for RLTOWNSLY setting us straight about the Fantasy of Global Warming. Hell, I knew Global Warming was a hoax from the get-go. How the hell could constantly pumping billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere ever have any affect on it? Hell, I even think Pollution is a hoax! I never believed this Dysentery myth for a minute. All these sewage treatment plants are just a way for politicians to shower their friends in the Sewage Treatment business with lucrative contracts.

And how about Ou812 pointing out that being accurate about 18th century geography is more important than the results of a study of the 21st century multistate project known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Hell, I'm form the Midwest and I still don't know exactly how many states make up the Midwest. Therefore, I can't read or write.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 7 years 45 weeks ago

Blog also says... "Nine Northeastern states established the RGGI." ..... sounds accurate to me! Anyway..... "We the People," should have total control over the entire energy sector, a non-profit one.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 45 weeks ago

Stopgap -- Thanks for the humor and letting me know not to take Ou812 and RLTOWNSLEY seriously.

The RGGI is actually called the initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states of the U.S..

RLTOWNSLEY how do you put the logic together of what happened with RGGI and corps will not reduce profits for shareholders and pay for CEOs. Is that not what happened with the RGGI? If not, then the same process could be applied throughout the U.S.. with little objection.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 45 weeks ago

Cap-and-Trade is just a scam to enable more financial/bankster speculators to make enormous profits while producing nothing, doing nothing & achieving nothing. World's #1 climatologist, James Hansen, has long been a critic of Cap-and-Trade, instead proposing a much simpler, non-speculative, revenue neutral carbon tax and dividend.

Let's see, a bankster style cap-and-trade system to reduce those >30 thousand Mexican Drug Cartel killings. Give each Drug Gang a cap on the number of citizens they can murder, set at the current level. And they can make a tidy profit trading their killings with another upstart gang that wants to kill also. The hippie non-violent weed producers who sell their product but kill nobody receive no benefit, no subsidies for them. But the brutal drug cartels can use their quota to kill the hippies to eliminate the competition.

And Wall St Bankters can buy killings credits from drug cartels that haven't kept up their killings level and then make a tidy profit selling their killings credits to other drug cartels. How wonderful is that.

Jim Hansen on Cap-and-Trade:

".... It is possible – if we give politicians a cold, hard slap in the face. The fraudulence of the Copenhagen approach – “goals” for emission reductions, “offsets” that render ironclad goals almost meaningless, the ineffectual “cap-and-trade” mechanism – must be exposed. We must rebel against such politics as usual. Governments going to Copenhagen claim to have such goals for 2050, which they will achieve with the “cap-and-trade” mechanism. They are lying through their teeth. Instead, the United States signed an agreement with Canada for a pipeline to carry oil squeezed from tar sands. Australia is building port facilities for large increases in coal export. Coal-to-oil factories are being built. Coal-fired power plants are being constructed worldwide. Governments are stating emission goals that they know are lies – or, if we want to be generous, they do not understand the geophysics and are kidding themselves..."

This is how you solve the Climate Change crisis:

"....At that point, we’ll be back to the 1940s can-do, will-do, mindset. The attitude that anything is possible. I really don’t think most people understand how countries mobilised and committed themselves during World War II. Winning was everything — it was a matter of life and death — the difference between the survival or downfall of a nation and political ideology. Military spending went from 2 — 5 % of GDP to 35 — 60 % for the major powers. The US diverted most of its automobile factories to making an extraordinary 300,000 planes and a vast naval fleet (the emergency shipbuilders). Russia produced over 50,000 T-34 tanks within the space of a few years, and threw millions of men against the German war machine, losses be damned. Japan was going to fight tooth-and-nail on the home islands, with millions of projected causalities,.."

"...If society realises that it has to build 10,000 nuclear power plants in a period of 20 years, then it’ll do it (as others have pointed out, things happened incredibly fast in the early years of nuclear power — the first 15 years saw a staggering rate of technical development). We’ll find the way to make it happen — of that I have little doubt...."

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 45 weeks ago

According to the US Dept. of Energy, the average retail price for electricity in the US is 9.84 cents/kWh. The nine states that make up the RGGI, are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Delaware and Maryland. The average retail price paid by consumers in those states are:

Maine—11.8 cents/kWh

New Hampshire—14.2 cents/kWh

Vermont—14.2 cents/kWh

Massachusetts—13.8 cents/kWh

Rhode Island—12.7 cents/kWh

Connecticut --15.5 cents/kWh

New York –15.2 cents/kWh

Delaware—11.1 cents/kWh

Maryland—11.3 cents/kWh

It is interesting to note, Pennsylvania, which is not a member of the RGGI, (for you geographically challenged mid-westerns, Pennsylvania, is located in the Northeast. South of New York, north of Maryland). The average retail price paid by consumers in Pennsylvania is 9.91 cents/kWh. Two other states neighboring Maryland , are Virginia and West Virginia The cost of electricity is 9.07 cents/kWh and 8.14 cents/kWh respectively in these two states. Neither are members of the RGGI.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 45 weeks ago

Yes, those are good numbers, I thought Thom's claim about reducing electricity prices was bogus. You don't add an expensive Cap-and-Trade system without prices going up - one way or another, politicans often like to hide those cost increases, but they are still there.

A common fallacy amongst the religious greens and spin doctor politicians is their belief that correlation = causation. BC politicians always likes to claim how successful their Carbon tax has been at reducing emissions. But in fact almost all of the reduction are accountable by the recession of 2008 and increased exporting of industry overseas. As with Obama's lower emissions claims, as well some replacement of Coal with NG, but Obama's spin doctors don't count the high GHG potential of methane emissions from Shale Gas. And increased coal exports, not counted.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 7 years 44 weeks ago

IRV -- Thanks for letting me say what no one seems to ever say. That is, although correlation does not equal causation, it seems to me that correlation is the only thing that proves causation. You should talk to more quantum physicists. The existence of new elements and particles is based on correlations in the range of 99.9999% (I am trying to remember the number of 9's from my conversation with a quantum physicist at lunch a couple of months ago).

Of course, if you use the wrong correlation, you have a hard time proving anything even though Ou812 tries. We need the price of electricity in those 9 states prior to the RGGI. Then with that number we could use the change in rates in the nearby states for comparison.

I thought a carbon tax was suppose to raise energy costs. It should reflect the true cost of the energy. At best, it would make energy less expensive in the future.

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