July 25, 2011

Business Leaders to Governors: ‘Support and Strengthen RGGI’

BOSTON, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 225 businesses - representing tens of thousands of employees around the region - issued a letter today urging New England and Mid-Atlantic governors to support and improve the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the region's market-based clean energy and efficiency program. State officials are now preparing for the 2012 Program Review required by the original RGGI agreement.

"We believe strong clean energy and clean air policies create jobs and stimulate economic growth. RGGI shows that market-based programs can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting our economy," the letter states. "By reducing spending on out-of-region fossil fuels, RGGI improves energy security and economic competitiveness and frees up energy dollars for spending in other parts of our economies."

These business leaders recognize that RGGI is creating real economic benefits for their states and want to strengthen the program still further. Leaders who signed the letter, coordinated by the New England Clean Energy Council, support improving the regional program in the upcoming RGGI Program Review by: (1) updating the emissions cap to create more effective pricing signals; and (2) taking steps to increase the scope of program beyond the 10 states by coordinating with other state and regional energy and climate programs.

The strength of the economic sector that RGGI bolsters was highlighted in a Brookings Institution report released earlier this month. The clean economy in the RGGI footprint employs more than 466,000 people regionally and 2.7 million people in the nation - more than the biosciences and fossil fuel sectors, according to the report.

All 10 states in the RGGI footprint have benefited from clean energy deployment, energy efficiency and job training programs funded by RGGI proceeds. For every $1 invested in energy efficiency programs, economic output is increased by $4-6.

Businesses across the region signed the letter, including: owners of design shops, construction firms, and home energy auditors; investors and CEOs of solar and renewable companies; leaders of business associations; and more. To view the letter and the full list of signers, go to www.cleanenergycouncil.org/RGGI2011.

About the New England Clean Energy Council

The New England Clean Energy Council's mission is to accelerate New England's clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean energy companies. For more information visit www.cleanenergycouncil.org.

Jay Staunton, 617-275-6517
[email protected]
BreAnda Northcutt, 609-222-4981
[email protected]
Cortney Piper, 865-789-2669
[email protected]

SOURCE New England Clean Energy Council