The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative coordinates Eastern states from Maryland to Maine on a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions in the power sector. It’s considered a success, contributing to a decline in electricity-related emissions in the participating states without affecting the local economies. The nine participating states recently announced intentions to more aggressively lower the cap from 2020 to 2030 by 3% per year. And both New Jersey and Virginia, now with Democratic governors, are likely to join the alliance.
But the transportation sector is a bigger pollutant, responsible for 40% of emissions in Massachusetts. And it’s of course more complicated as well. Still, applying RGGI to the transportation sector should still be possible, by applying a carbon fee at the fuel pump.
Today, I write the Massachusetts Department of Transportation a letter, urging them to consider advancing RGGI to the transportation sector. The DoT is on a listening tour right now and taking comments on a variety of issues through December 1. So I made sure my voice was heard. And judging by the Boston Globe’s coverage, there’s a possibility they might actually be listening.