WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) today joined Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and a number of senators in introducing bipartisan legislation to support and expand regional climate change mitigation programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The RGGI is a collaborative effort across the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont that uses market-based tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2019 would establish an office at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the establishment of new regional greenhouse gas reduction programs and expand existing programs.
“In Delaware, we have seen firsthand the tremendous economic and public health benefits that come with participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” said Senator Carper. “This bill will help states expand upon the Northeast Region’s success, providing all states with the financial resources and technical assistance needed to carry out regional greenhouse gas reduction programs. This legislation will result in cleaner air, a safer climate and more American jobs. I’m proud to partner with Senator Hassan on this important measure.”
“Delaware is America’s lowest lying state, which puts us on the front lines of the fight against climate change,” said Senator Coons. “Delaware and several other states in our region have shown real leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and we’ve proven that this effort isn’t just good for our environment – it can help our economy, too. I’m proud to be part of this bipartisan effort to ensure that the federal government is working with state governments already leading the way by using market-based tools to reduce emissions and protect our environment.”
The EPA Office of Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs established by this legislation would provide analysis and technical assistance to help establish new regional greenhouse gas reduction programs, expand existing programs such as RGGI and the Western Climate Initiative, and support states that are already members of such programs. The bill would also provide grants for state and local governments to take preliminary steps toward developing or participating in a regional greenhouse gas reduction program.
This bipartisan legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) all of whom represent states currently participating in RGGI, as well as Bob Casey (D-Pa.), whose state has taken steps recently to join the initiative.