Maine is a leader in the fight on global warming

For more than a decade, Maine has been at the forefront of national efforts to shift to clean energy and to reduce the pollution that contributes to global warming.  

Maine has adopted strong policies that work to reduce global warming, including a requirement that we obtain an increasing portion of our electricity from new renewable sources, standards to reduce pollution from cars and light trucks, and strong energy efficiency programs. 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: A success to build on

In 2007, Maine joined with 10 other states in the Northeast to establish one of the most important global warming reduction programs in the country — the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

RGGI has broken important ground. It’s the first program in the United States to limit global warming pollution from power plants, sell permits to emit carbon, and invest the revenues in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives. Even more importantly, RGGI is a model for the country. It has demonstrated that other states, other regions, and the nation as a whole could use a similar model to reduce pollution. 

And so far, RGGI has been a tremendous success. Maine is investing the proceeds, more than $27 million dollars so far, on programs to improve energy efficiency and to accelerate the development of cleaner energy sources. RGGI has already saved Maine consumers $120 million, created more than 900 new jobs, and grown Maine’s economy by $92 million.

About one-third of RGGI investments have helped industrial companies, like Madison Paper in Somerset County, make energy efficiency improvements. Among other improvements, the grants will enable Madison Paper to install new heat exchangers to capture heat from its wastewater and papermaking process. All told, these energy improvements will save Madison Paper $2 million annually. Madison’s Reliability Engineer Joe Clark explains, “These savings will help secure the future of an established paper mill facing difficult economic pressures.” Most of the remaining funds have supported Efficiency Maine’s Business Program.

Despite these results, fossil fuel interests, led by Americans for Prosperity and other anti-regulatory ideologues, are trying to kill or weaken the program. However, the Maine Legislature rejected a bill in 2011 to pull Maine out of the program.

Now, advocates in Maine and across the Northeast are calling for the state officials to update and strengthen the program so that it delivers even greater environmental and economic benefits.

Fortunately, there is strong public support in Maine for reducing pollution from power plants and shifting to clean energy.  Environment Maine staff are working with a broad coalition to convince state officials strengthen RGGI, which is critical to Maine’s efforts to meet our energy and environmental goals.  

With your support, we can strengthen RGGI and cut global warming pollution.

We’re making progress — but we need your support to defend and strengthen RGGI. Join our campaign today, and urge state lawmakers to strengthen RGGI so we can expand Maine’s efforts to reduce global warming pollution from power plants and shift to clean energy.



Global Warming Updates

News Release | Environment Maine

New Report: Wind Energy Yields Major Environmental Benefits for Maine

Portland, Maine—Wind energy is on the rise in Maine and is providing large environmental benefits for the state, according to a new report released today by Environment Maine. Maine’s wind energy avoided 534,700 metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution in 2012, which is equivalent to eliminating the pollution from more than 111,000 cars. The report also finds that wind energy reduces smog and soot pollution and saves the nation vast amounts of water.

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News Release | Environment Maine

Panel Presents Maine Perspectives on Climate Change & Proposed National Limits on Climate Pollution from Power Plants

Portland, ME – Support is building in Maine for national standards that would limit climate-changing pollution from new power plants. Such standards are being pursued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Today, Maine residence gathered to learn and speak about the new climate pollution standards and some of the benefits to Maine of reducing climate pollution from upwind power plants. 

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News Release | Environment Maine

Maine Urged to Strengthen Cap on Climate-Altering Carbon Pollution

PORTLAND—Today, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection wrapped up public comment on proposed improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that would reduce power plant pollution in the region by more than 20 percent over the next decade. 

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News Release | Environment Maine

OBAMA ISSUES NEW PLAN TO CUT CARBON POLLUTION FROM NEW POWER PLANTS AND ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE IN MAINE AND THE REST OF THE NATION

Today, a coalition of Maine environmental groups applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants. The proposed standards are a cornerstone of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and come as Mainers begin to feel the early effects of global warming, including lobstermen seeing troubling changes to lobster fisheries, many more getting sick with Lyme Disease, fishermen seeing harmful warming in our trout streams, and people across the state dealing with costly increases in heavy storms and flooding.

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News Release | Environment Maine

As Maine Pursues Climate Solutions, Power Plants Are Nation’s Biggest Polluters

Portland, Maine – As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy nears, a new report from Environment Maine sheds light on the largest single source of global warming pollution nationwide – power plants. 

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