FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2020
Washington, DC — Today, Business Forward Foundation issued a report on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-invest program that incentivizes lower carbon emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. RGGI began in 2008 and currently includes nine states, with New Jersey and Virginia set to join by 2021. What RGGI Could Mean for Pennsylvania’s Carbon Emissions and Energy Economy explains how RGGI works, the program’s record of success, and the impact it could have on Pennsylvania over the next decade.
“RGGI has a strong track record,” said Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward Foundation. “In its first decade, participating states saw a 47 percent reduction in emissions, nearly twice the rate of non-RGGI states. Over that same period, the GDP of RGGI states grew by 47 percent while electricity prices remained low.”
From 2008 to 2017, electricity prices in RGGI states fell by 5.7 percent, while prices increased by 8.6 percent elsewhere.
“RGGI makes sense for Pennsylvania,” Doyle explained. “The program raises revenue from energy industry market trends already in motion.” In Pennsylvania, RGGI could raise $320 million in 2022, and $2.4 billion by 2030. “Pennsylvania ranks 47th in air quality,” he added. “Those dollars could be reinvested in clean air projects, good energy jobs, consumer relief, and energy efficiency.”
Analysis by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection estimates that by 2030, RGGI could avoid 639 premature deaths, 45,000 asthma attacks, and 1,000 cases of childhood bronchitis. It could create 27,000 jobs, $1.9 billion in gross state product, and $6 billion in health benefits.
ABOUT BUSINESS FORWARD FOUNDATION
The Business Forward Foundation is an independent research and education organization that takes a business-minded look at policy issues affecting America’s economic competitiveness. Our work combines insights and advice from business leaders across the country with rigorous policy analysis. Through white papers, issue briefs, conference calls, and other events, we educate policy makers and the public about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work, and other critical issues.