Dykes: “Pollution reduction and economic growth can go hand-in-hand.”

Power plant emissions

That’s Katie Dykes, the chair of the board of directors of the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, affectionately known as “Reggie.”

Nine northeast states, from Maine to Maryland, are part of the RGGI Initiative. Together, they’re reducing the carbon pollution created by electric power plants.

Dykes explains the participating states put a cap on the total amount of carbon pollution that power plants can emit. Think of it like a pie – the total amount of carbon pollution is the whole pie. And the states sell slices of the pie, called “allowances” to power plants.

The money from those sales is then invested in energy efficiency and clean energy programs.

The program is working. Over the past twelve years, the RGGI states have reduced their carbon pollution from power plants by 45 percent.

And by investing in clean energy, the states have created thousands of jobs, and saved consumers more than $600 million on their energy bills.

Dykes believes that RGGI’s successes can be replicated elsewhere.

Dykes: “Part of the RGGI states’ commitment to leadership is to share those lessons with other states that may be interested in trying to replicate those successes in their area.”

Reporting credit: Peter Bresnan/ChavoBart Digital Media.
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