An Expanding Carbon Cap-and-trade Regime? A Decade of Experience with RGGI Charts a Path Forward

The Electricity Journal, June 2018

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was launched in 2009 to give 10 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions the opportunity to take their own action on climate change and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants by implementing and administering a market-based cap-and-trade program. It has persisted through changes in both gubernatorial administration and power markets. As other states debate whether to join the nine states currently participating in RGGI, or enter a similar program, a new article by an Analysis Group team reviews the results of the initiative's first decade.

The article – coauthored by Principal Paul Hibbard, Senior Advisor Susan Tierney, Managing Principal Pavel Darling, and Associate Sarah Cullinan – appears in the June 2018 issue of The Electricity Journal, and is based on Analysis Group's three reports assessing RGGI's economic impact. The authors calculate that impact on the participating states to be a net gain of $4.7 billion in economic value added.

“[A] well-designed, market-based CO2-control regime can generate substantial benefits for local economies,” the authors write. “Implementation of that program can be a unique vehicle for advancing important fiscal, social, energy, and environmental policy goals. And a focus on efficient and equitable program design and implementation can help achieve policy objectives while delivering economic benefits.”

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Hibbard P, Tierney S, Darling P, Cullinan S