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New report shows RGGI's economic impact in First State

Delaware Public Media

A new report from financial consultant Analysis Group shows how Delaware and eight other states involved in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have used program proceeds since 2015 and the impact to local and regional economies.

In 2009, Delaware was one of 11 states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to form RGGI and make a commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The now nine state involved announced in August 2017 they would continue the program to decrease emissions through 2030, aiming to cut them by an additional 30 percent from 2021 to 2030.

According to the economic impact report by Analysis Group, Delaware spent $61 million in RGGI proceeds to control emissions from nearby power plants from 2015 to 2017. More than half of that went to measures to lower energy consumption. About $14 million went towards renewable investment.

Sue Tierany, a senior adviser with Analysis Group, says that’s good bang for the buck because it allows Delaware to shave electricity demand for grid operators like PJM.

“That means in any point in time that grid operator is going to avoid running more expensive power plants,” she said. “And when that happens, everybody’s electrical bills are going to go down.”

According to the report, the nine RGGI states netted $1.4 billion in economic value in their participation over the three-year period. In that period, the program has accounted for 14,500 new job-years, which equals one full-time job over a one-year period.

Carbon emissions from power plants in those states have been cut by more than half since RGGI was implemented 9 years ago.

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