Wednesday, January 11, 2006

GP to North Eastern US-Lead the way!

In a press release the Green Party of the United States called for the strengthening of a Global Warming Pact between seven North Eastern states. More below the fold...that is, at the "Read more!" link...Calling for his home state of Rhode Island to join these seven states, Greg Gerritt is quoted in the article. MA is also not a part of this Global Warming Pact. Rebecca Rotzler, elected Green from New Paltz, Jason West, elected Green mayor of the same, and Mark Dunlea of New York are also quoted.

Perhaps the most important angle here is the issue of energy. We Greens will do ourselves a lot of good if we can be the go-to-folks on the energy issue. The piece included the following on the topic of energy:
The RGGI pact would create a 'market-driven system' of tradable carbon dioxide emissions permits for hundreds of electric generators in the seven northeastern states. Each state would have its own emissions cap, and power plant operators would each be permitted to emit carbon dioxide up to a certain level. The intent is to promote the use of the cleaner plants in order to stay under the limits; operators would be allowed to sell excess allowances. A recent study commissioned by the states found that if money raised by the sale of the excess pollution allowances were invested in energy efficiency programs, consumers could save up to $108 a year by the year 2021.

"We're calling for all carbon emission permits under RGGI to be auctioned off, rather than most of them to be given free to existing carbon polluters," said Mark Dunlea, former chair of the Green Party of New York State and former national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Energy. "The hundreds of millions of dollars raised annually through the auction process would be used to offset the regressive nature of any 'energy tax', for example, through state supplements to the low-income Home Energy Assistance Program. The rest would be invested in energy efficiency, conservation, and development of renewable energy technologies."

A recent report by Redefining Progress shows that auctioning off the permits rather than giving them away free would reduce the costs of the initiative by 75%. A grandfathered permit system would reduce employment, investment, and competitiveness in northeastern states, while an auctioned permit system would increase employment.
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