Brunswick, Maine— Curbing dangerous carbon pollution can reduce the risk of global warming and benefit local communities at the same time, according to a report released today by Environment Maine Research & Policy Center. The group notes that Maine stands to benefit even more if a current pollution reduction program is strengthened.
“We can cut carbon pollution and build a clean energy economy —which is a win-win for Brunswick, and Maine,” said Andrew LaVogue of Environment Maine “We’re proving it every day.”
The report, Carbon-Cutting Success Stories, details how businesses and organizations of all types and sizes are embracing clean energy as a way to create new opportunities and to save money. At the same time, they are helping states to achieve their goals for reducing dangerous carbon pollution. Maine has a goal of reducing warming pollution across the economy by at least 35 percent by 2030. The report comes as Maine officials discuss how to deliver on this promise.
“Here at Oxford Networks we want to be good stewards of the Environment, while also having a successful business model” Said John Coray of Oxford Networks
The report highlights seven cities, businesses and institutions that have made groundbreaking progress in energy efficiency and renewable energy that dramatically reduce their contributions to global warming, while also helping their bottom lines. These projects were supported by revenue from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a program that limits carbon pollution from power plants and makes polluters pay for the privilege of using the sky for waste disposal. Much of the revenue is then invested in clean energy programs.
The report also looks at two exciting projects built to capture opportunities for new markets created by the increasing need for pollution-free energy.
Here in Maine, the report highlights Oxford Networks, an award winning data technology solutions company, Oxford Networks used funding generated by revenue from dirty power plants to upgrade its cooling systems – saving as much as $5,000 per year. This project was facilitated by Efficiency Maine, which in 2015 helped the state reduce its energy use by the equivalent of 26 million gallons of oil.
“In every facet of our economy, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is working,” said Andrew LaVogue “Whether you are a worker looking for a manufacturing job in Buffalo, a parent taking your child to the doctor in Connecticut, a senior citizen living in a retirement home in Maryland, or a millennial having a craft beer in New Hampshire, climate protection programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are helping to save money and create new opportunities – while protecting our climate for generations to come.”
The projects highlighted in the report are just the beginning when it comes to potential to use energy more efficiently, and to generate more of our energy from pollution-free resources. Offshore wind energy alone could meet the electricity needs of the East Coast five times over, with zero pollution.
Officials from Maine are currently undertaking a review of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and are expected to propose changes to the program in the coming months. Advocates are calling for Governor LePage to double the benefits of the program by doubling the pollution reduction goals through 2030.
Environment Maine Research & Policy Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment.