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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): A Cap-Tax-Spend Model to NOT Follow

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#llinowes">Lisa Linowes</a> -- July 19, 2010

“Bottom line, the program has raised electricity prices, created a slush fund for each of the member states, and has had virtually no impact on emissions or on global climate change.”

Against a backdrop of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration stepped up its campaign to pass national climate change legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV announced last week that he plans to bring a comprehensive energy and climate bill to the Senate floor by the end of the July. The bill, still to be written, is expected to include a cap on carbon emissions produced by the nation’s electricity providers.

But before the U.S. embraces such a program, Congress — and the public — would be wise to examine the early performance of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first mandatory greenhouse gas cap and trade system.…