The Northeast is one of the most polluted areas of the country. Our dense population, cold winters, manufacturing plants and older structures means that the Northeastern states tend to pollute quite a bit more than other states in the south, midwest and west. A reduction in greenhouse gases and other pollutants here will go a long way towards making this a cleaner world.
That's why I'm glad to see that Connecticut has signed on to a regional initiative to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gases by 10% by 2020:
Connecticut is expected to be one of seven Northeastern states signing on to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which sets goals for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants beginning in 2009.
"The agreement creates incentives that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help free our economy from the price volatility of world oil and gas markets," Rell said.
The formal plan has yet to be released, but a draft proposal requires a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. Utilities that exceed the goals could sell credits to companies that do not.
The market approach "has been a very effective tool that's been used in our air programs over a decade," McCarthy said. (Pazniokas)
Both Rhode Island and Massachusetts have held off on signing the compact for economic reasons, however:
Gov. Don Carcieri of Rhode Island and Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts each raised concerns that the plan could drive up electricity rates. Romney had sought a cap on what power plants would have to pay if they exceeded emissions limits. (Pazniokas)
Hopefully Romney, at least, will sign on. The compact is useless without Massachusetts.
Both governors have legitimate concerns, but Rell seems satisfied that consumers will be protected. It's good that governments are trying to make environmentalism work with economics instead of against it.
I'm glad to see New England and the rest of the northeast taking the lead on these issues when the federal government won't.
Pazniokas, Mark. "State Joins Pollution Compact." Hartford Courant 16 December, 2005.