New England Power Generators Association/Environmental NGO Letter on Regional Transportation Emissions
(New England Power Generators Association) NEPGA letter – with the Acadia Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists – calling for a regional approach to lowering transportation emissions in a market based manner. READ MORE
Excerpts from letter: We, the New England Power Generators Association and regional environmental and science advocacy organizations, call on your states to develop and participate in a regional, market-based policy to address greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
As partners in reducing power sector CO2 emissions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), we appreciate the important role that flexible, multi-state, market-based policies play in addressing climate change at least cost and maximum benefit. In states covered by the RGGI program, CO2 emissions from electricity generation are now more than 45 percent below 2005 levels.
However, reducing CO2 emissions in the power sector alone will not be enough to meet economy-wide climate change goals. Policymakers must also focus their attention on controlling the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the region, the transportation sector, to achieve long-term climate objectives.
The transportation sector accounts for approximately 35 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and that share continues to grow.1 However, with alternatives such as electric vehicles charged by an increasingly clean power grid, the technologies and systems needed to significantly cut emissions from the transportation sector are available.
To enable this cleaner transportation future we need state leadership and the right policies.
We call on New England states to take the next step in addressing climate change by applying the lessons learned under RGGI to develop a regional, market-based climate policy that leads to significant greenhouse gas emission reductions from the transportation sector.
As we have seen in the power sector, RGGI provides economic signals that harness market innovation for cleaner energy. If market-based policies are applied to transportation, we believe that RGGI’s benefits would be replicated. Moreover, such a program would provide significant opportunities to improve the region’s transportation infrastructure and expand access to clean, affordable and modern mobility options that meet the needs of residents and communities.
We urge your states to quickly begin developing a regional, market-based transportation climate policy, in consultation with the region’s stakeholders, with the aim of signing a memorandum of understanding and developing a model rule by the end of 2018.
1 Georgetown Climate Center (2015), Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation Opportunities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, available at http://www.georgetownclimate.org/files/report/GCC-Reducing_GHG_Emissions_from_Transportation-11.24.15.pdf.