Phil Bartlett, Maine State Senate District Six  

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Senate Supports Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

June 5, 2007

The Maine Senate took a big a step forward in the fight against global warming Tuesday when it unanimously voted to support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The bill would establish a carbon dioxide cap and regional carbon credit trade program with participating states in a ten-state region. The RGGI bill still faces additional votes in the Legislature before it can be sent on to Governor Baldacci.

Senator Phil Bartlett, D-Cumberland County , who co-sponsored the bill in the Senate said, “The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will help us to shift from the most polluting kinds of electricity generation to a more diverse portfolio including a lot more renewable energy.”

He added, “By reducing carbon emissions, we are clearly contributing to environmental friendliness of our energy production, but beyond that the investments that we will achieve through energy efficiencies through this initiative will help us to lower the total cost of energy to consumers, individuals, and businesses.”

Senator Bartlett pointed out that, “By working together, we will help put together a policy in a ten-state region that can be copied nationally.” The ten-state region includes Maine , New Hampshire , Vermont , Massachusetts , Rhode Island , Connecticut , Delaware , New Jersey , New York and Maryland . He added, “Already several western states are looking to do something similar to the Regional Green House Gas Initiative…”

Senator Bartlett also noted that RGGI gives Maine and its regional partners a chance to get out ahead of the national trend and laws that are coming down the pike. “By getting out a little bit ahead of that curb, we will position our businesses, consumers, and generators far better to deal with that national system then if we sit on our hands and wait.

More information about the bill, LD 1851, An Act To Establish the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Act of 2007, can be found online here.