Supporting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

For eight years, Maryland has been part of the country’s first mandatory market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced “reggie”). Of the nine member states, Maryland has historically been vocal in supporting aggressive standards that protect our environment and health, as well as drive investment in Maryland’s green energy sector.

Maryland’s Department of the Environment is currently negotiating with other member states on the RGGI standards for 2020-2040. After failing to bring Maryland into the US Climate Alliance, the Hogan administration is now pushing for the weakest possible update. Aside from letting down the people of Maryland, this also forces more ambitious states to reduce their targets.

RGGI has been an undisputed success, both environmentally and economically. During its operation, carbon pollution in the region has decreased 40% and electricity prices have decreased 3.4%–while prices have increased in the rest of the country. RGGI-driven economic growth is estimated at $2.7 billion, in addition to $5.7 billion in health-related savings. It’s crucial that Maryland maintain its leadership position and push for the most ambitious targets in the next round of RGGI standards. Marylanders overwhelmingly support the RGGI program, and expect the Hogan administration to represent their interests.

 

What you can do:

Call the Secretary of the Environment and Governor Hogan and tell them Marylanders expect them to support the most ambitious targets in the current round of RGGI negotiations. The Sierra Club set up a phone line that plays a brief background message and connects you to Secretary Grumbles’ office and then Governor Hogan’s office. Below is a brief script you can use when calling.

Call: 512-402-8385

You can use the script below or leave your own message

[script]  Hello, my name is <name> from <place of residence>, and I’d like to leave a message for Secretary Grumbles/Governor Hogan about protecting Maryland’s environment and economy.

I urge Secretary Grumbles/Governor Hogan to advocate for the most ambitious update to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative when negotiating with other state leaders in the upcoming program renewal. The RGGI program has been an undisputed success for Maryland, both environmentally and economically. The decision is clear: Maryland must be a leader in pushing for stronger RGGI standards.

[if you want to say more]  The US is falling behind as other countries build the clean energy economy of the future. Maryland needs leaders who support a healthy environment and robust energy economy, for our state and the rest of the country. I hope you will represent the interests of Marylanders in the upcoming negotiations and support the most ambitious RGGI standards.

For more information:

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