October 01, 2017

RGGI: Continuing to Build on the Successes

Sheryl Musgrove

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cap-and-trade program that regulates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing power plants with a 25 megawatt or greater capacity located in member states. The current members of RGGI are the Northeast states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Since RGGI began operating in 2009, it has proven to be successful at both reducing CO2 emissions and providing significant co-benefits. To build on these past successes and continue to reap the benefits of a strong RGGI, the member states should make improvements in the program. These improvements should impose an ambitious downward trajectory in the emissions cap for the 2021 to 2030 period, adjust the cap to fully account for the banked allowance surplus, modify the design of the cost containment reserve, and add an emissions containment reserve to the RGGI program design.

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