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Cap And Trade

Massachusetts Earned $50 Million from Cap+Trade in 2009

In a time when most states are hurting, Massachusetts has come out a winner, actually earning money to provide clean energy jobs and energy retrofit services. Through its participation in RGGI, the regional carbon cap-and-trade program; in which ten states compete to lower greenhouse gas pollution most, Massachusetts came out a winner.


The state earned about $50 million last year; money that provided the funding for energy efficiency makeovers for its residents – home heating retrofits for low-income families and job training for emerging zero waste energy businesses.

Cap and trade programs help us earn the money to fund the change to safer, cleaner more secure forms of energy to ensure long term prosperity in the future, by providing an incentive for polluting companies to invest in clean energy.

In the regional cap and trade auctions, states auction nearly all emission allowances and invest the proceeds in consumer benefits: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies.

The ten states participating in RGGI — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont — are implementing the first mandatory cap-and-trade program in the United States. They have capped and will reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10% by 2018.

The $50 million earned in the four 2009 auctions has not been allocated yet, but the previous years earnings of $28 million are currently funding the following programs.

  • Green Communities Program start-up and Green Communities Program Grants for cities and towns ($10 million)
  • Ramp-up of utility-administered energy efficiency programs ($5.9 million), as required to support the Green Communities Act.
  • Assistance to municipalities for energy efficiency projects identified in DOER audits, but previously unfunded ($2.7 million)
  • Heating system replacements in low-income households, through DHCD’s HeartWAP program ($4 million)
  • Workforce development and training programs focused on energy efficiency for homes, businesses and public buildings ($1.9 million for the Energy Efficiency Skills and Innovation Initiative), as well as seed grants and other support for innovative delivery models that will allow the energy efficiency industry to reach a new level of capacity ($3 million)
  • Program administration ( $500,000) to cover administration of the programs

Cap and trade supplies the money, not only for energy efficiency, but can also fund the switch to solar, geothermal and wind power which create energy without making any waste byproduct.

Related stories:

CBO Scores Show Energy-Only Bill a Flop

Public Radio Pledges Loving Cap+Trade

Cap and Trade 101: How a “Cap” Ensures Carbon Reductions

76% of Cap and Trade Bill Allowances Benefit People Not Polluters

Cap and Trade Will Pay For Itself, CBO Finds

Image: Act For Climate Justice

Source: Grist

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writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


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