Massachusetts and eight other states will announce significant cuts Thursday in allowable carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, according to a press advisory released by Massachusetts officials.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative announcement comes four years after the nine-state program put in place a cap aimed at reducing emissions of the heat-trapping gas from power plants in order to slow manmade climate change.
By last August, emissions were down -- about 36 percent below the current cap.
But the steep reductions, driven primarily by the region’s growing dependence on natural gas, had the perverse effect of undermining the pact because there were fewer financial incentives for polluting power companies to invest in cleaner technologies.
The nine states have been discussing changes for two years as part of a program review, with a broad outside coalition of more than 300 Northeast businesses, academics, and environmental and health groups arguing for a significant lowering of the cap.
RGGI is the first mandatory market-based carbon dioxide reduction program in the United States.
No other information was available Wednesday afternoon, although the Massachusetts press advisory said the new cuts would “generate millions of dollars in additional revenue for Massachusetts.”
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