SENATOR PARKER APPLAUDS NEW YORK’S LEADERSHIP IN GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTIONS
CONGRATULATES THE NINE RGGI STATES ON
REDUCING THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS “CAP” BY 45%
(Brooklyn, NY) “Today, the nine states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) announced a reduction of the region’s carbon dioxide emissions cap from 165 million to 91 million tons of CO2 – a 45% reduction,” said State Senator Kevin Parker. “A reduction of that magnitude solidifies the leadership New York and other Mid-Atlantic and New England states are displaying by fighting against climate change and the devastating weather-disasters caused by global warming, like Hurricane Sandy.”
The RGGI initiative was America’s first effort to put a mandatory price on carbon dioxide emissions, and to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by use of the marketplace. The proceeds from the purchases by industry of pollution allowances under RGGI have allowed the nine RGGI states to save utility customers more than $1 billon, have created thousands of jobs in sustainable energy, smart grid and low-emission transportation research, and through weatherization and efficiency programs such as Green Jobs/Green New York, have created thousands of green collar jobs. RGGI has also created a 23% drop in greenhouse gas emissions in the RGGI states during the first three years of the program – the equivalent of taking 2 million vehicles off the road for one year.
“California has followed New York and the RGGI states’ lead, and it is my hope the rest of the 50 states will soon join us in limiting greenhouse gas emissions either through their own efforts, or by a federal cap and trade program similar to RGGI,” continued Senator Parker. “The new RGGI rules that result from today’s announcement will result in an additional $2-$3 billion for reinvestment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy security and green collar job creation.” “To date, RGGI has collected $380 million in auction proceeds, of which $177 million has been spent so far on creating green jobs, energy efficiency, research programs, smart grid upgrades, solar photovoltaic work, and other alternative energy investments.”
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse community in the heart of Brooklyn that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.