States participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, are seeing their already high energy bills, go higher; far different from its intention.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade program between nine northeastern and mid-Atlantic states, was recently extended. The states (Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have agreed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030.
According to the initiative, which was originally adopted on January 1, 2009, the revenue that the states obtain from the cap-and-trade program is used to improve energy efficiency, modernize the electric grid and purchase more wind and solar power. However, a recent study funded by the Cato Institute finds that 1) there were no added emissions reductions or associated health benefits from the program; 2) the RGGI revenue spending had minimal impact; and 3) the RGGI allowance costs increased already high regional electricity prices.