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

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) helped reintroduce bipartisan legislation led by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to support and expand programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a collaborative effort across states including New Hampshire that uses market-based tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.

“In New Hampshire and throughout the northeast, we are already seeing alarming effects from climate change, which is why we need to take action before it’s too late. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is an important tool we have been using for more than a decade 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 to pursue policies that tackle the threats created by climate change head on.”

“Climate change threatens our economy, our health, and our natural resources. Initiatives like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative leverage market-based solutions to reduce emissions, lower energy use and bills, and create jobs,” said Senator Hassan. “Our bipartisan legislation would support current RGGI programs and help expand this type of regional greenhouse gas initiative to other states and local governments. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build support for this important, bipartisan legislation that will help our country combat climate change and build up our clean energy economy.”

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 is a leader in the Senate for safeguarding our environment, combating the effects of climate change and investing in energy efficiency policies. 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. Shaheen also introduced the widely praised Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), which contains key energy efficiency policy reforms that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution. Policy experts at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that over the lifetime of the legislation through 2050, the bipartisan bill will save consumers more than $41 billion on their energy bills, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.18 billion metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking 3.1 million cars off the road each year for 30 years, and add more than 100,000 jobs to the economy. Shaheen is a founding member of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, which brings together an equal number of Republicans and Democrats to craft and advance bipartisan solutions to address climate change.