"Report: Greenhouse Gas Pact Created $500 Million For Massachusetts Economy And Added Nearly 3,800 Jobs"
A new report from the Analysis Group reveals that the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — created to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a cap-and-trade system” — contributed nearly $500 million to Massachusetts’ economy and created nearly 3,800 jobs over the past three years. RGGI led to regional economic gains of $1.6 billion, including the $498 million is Massachusetts while investments in clean energy sector will save consumers $1.1 billion on electricity and $174 million on natural gas and home heating oil by 2021 — an average savings of $25 for residential consumers, $181 for commercial consumers, and $2,493 for industrial consumers. While power plants have lost about $1.4 billion in revenue over the past three years due to “reduced demand and the costs of purchasing carbon allowances,” the consumer savings and clean energy investments “more than offset the economic losses.” The program, which Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) approved in 2007, holds 10 mid-Atlantic and Northeast states in a pact to cap and reduce carbon dioxide emissions and sell power sector emission allowances through auctions while investing the proceeds in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) pulled his state out of the program this year, calling it a “failure” and a “gimmick.”