Senator Shaheen, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Support and Expand Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs

November 14, 2019

Bipartisan Legislation is Cosponsored by Senators From Six States Currently Participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

 

WASHINGTON – Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced with a number of her colleagues bipartisan legislation to support and expand programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a collaborative effort across the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to use market-based tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2019 would establish an office at the Environmental Protection Agency to support the establishment of new regional greenhouse gas reduction programs and expand existing programs. This bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), all of whom represent states currently participating in RGGI, as well as Bob Casey (D-PA), whose state has taken steps recently to join the initiative.

“States in the Northeastern region of the country, including New Hampshire, are already seeing devastating impacts from climate change, underscoring the urgent need to take action before it’s too late. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is an important tool we have been using since 2009 to make progress to that end,” said Senator Shaheen. “By establishing an Office of Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs within the Environmental Protection Agency, this legislation will provide technical assistance and guidance for states in other regions to replicate the success of RGGI and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’ll keep working across the aisle in support of efforts addressing the direct threats posed by climate change.”

“As a state senator in New Hampshire, I successfully pushed for our state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and continued working as Governor to strengthen this critical program. The initiative has been successful in helping to reduce harmful emissions and energy costs, create jobs, and encourage innovation in New Hampshire’s renewable energy economy,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan legislation would support states like New Hampshire that have already created these sorts of emission-reducing programs, while also encouraging other states and local governments to develop their own regional greenhouse gas initiatives. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this commonsense legislation that will help America build a cleaner energy future.”

The bipartisan Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act would establish, within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an Office of Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs. This office would provide analysis and technical assistance to help establish new regional greenhouse gas reduction programs, expand existing programs such as RGGI and the Western Climate Initiative, and support states that are already members of such programs. The bill would also provide grants for state and local governments to take preliminary steps toward developing or participating in a regional greenhouse gas reduction program. 

To read the one-pager on the bipartisan Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, click here.

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to combat climate change. Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation – the International Climate Change Accountability Act -  that would prevent the President from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen traveled to Paris to participate in high-level discussions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference that led to the international Paris Climate Accord. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has historically helped secure increased funding for several energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy. Shaheen has also consistently spoken out in opposition to the President’s anti-environment agenda, and has fought his continued efforts to invalidate scientific evidence of climate change.