Maryland Raises Over $1B for Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Maryland recently hit the $1 billion mark in funds raised to fight emissions. 

Maryland has reached the billion-dollar mark in money raised through a regional program to cap and reduce fossil fuel energy use and the emissions that cause climate change. Those proceeds help speed the deployment of renewable energy technologies and consumer programs to improve energy efficiency.

Maryland hit the billion-dollar milestone in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds in RGGI’s most recent auction last week. As a result of that auction, RGGI’s 58th, Maryland received $36,647,881.62 in proceeds to bring its total over 14 years of participation in the initiative to $1,006,552,034.90.

In Maryland, more than half of the funds collected through RGGI auctions are invested in energy assistance for low-income households and energy efficiency in low-to-moderate income homes and communities. Other investments include grants for residential and commercial solar arrays and electric vehicles. Information on annual RGGI investments in Maryland and the other RGGI states is available on RGGI’s website.

According to the press release:

“A billion dollars in RGGI proceeds for Maryland shows the value of bipartisan, multi-state teamwork in fighting climate change,” said Horacio Tablada, secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment and member of the RGGI Board of Directors. “As part of a commitment to common sense solutions on climate change, Maryland has worked hard to ensure that RGGI continues to deliver results, in clean energy and economic benefits, for the region and for Marylanders.”

“With more than half of RGGI proceeds invested in programs managed by our agency, we are collectively producing real successes in carbon reduction for our state and overall progress for this initiative,” said Dr. Mary Beth Tung, director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “We are providing impactful energy efficiency strategies to low-to-moderate income households and communities that will benefit from its cost savings.”

“This auction marks an historic milestone in Maryland’s journey toward achieving a thriving, low-carbon economy,” said Jason Stanek, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission and member of the RGGI Board of Directors. “With over $1 billion generated in RGGI auction revenues, I am pleased to see the State leverage this success into programs that provide energy assistance to low and moderate income households, advance energy efficiency and conservation, and support clean and renewable energy development in our State. It’s a win for our climate and a win for Marylanders.”

RGGI is a core program in Maryland’s plan to achieve the state’s ambitious climate change goals.Those goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2031 and achieve net zero emissions economy wide by 2045 – the most ambitious in the nation.

Maryland has participated in RGGI since its inception. RGGI works as a collaboration among 12 eastern states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants through a regional cap-and-invest program. The Maryland Department of the Environment is the lead Maryland agency for RGGI, and the department works in close coordination with the Maryland Public Service Commission on RGGI design and implementation. Through RGGI, the participating states have cut power plant emissions in half while enjoying billions of dollars of economic benefit and creating thousands of jobs.

Maryland allocates proceeds from the sale of carbon allowances through RGGI auctions into the Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF) – a special, non-lapsing fund administered by the Maryland Energy Administration. The Maryland Energy Administration deploys SEIF funds to promote affordable, reliable, and clean energy across Maryland’s diverse regions and communities. These programs reduce household bills, create jobs in growing industries, increase resiliency, and promote energy independence. The programs also have significantly reduced energy costs for Maryland’s businesses.

The RGGI states are in the midst of a periodic program review to evaluate future goals and the path of the program through stakeholder engagement and analysis.

Read the full press release. 

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