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Maryland Joins Pact; Montgomery Plan Announced

Maryland joined seven states yesterday in a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative aimed at reducing carbon dioxide pollution from power plants 10 percent by 2019 in the absence of tougher federal emissions standards. And eight of nine Montgomery County Council members announced their support for a package of 15 environmental initiatives that would affect home construction, planning decisions and purchases for the county fleet.

Washington Post, April 21

   

Md. joins pollution pact

Maryland joined a multistate effort to reduce pollution contributing to global warming yesterday and will begin studies to find more ways to combat climate change and limit the threat rising sea levels pose to the state's 3,100 miles of shoreline. Gov. Martin O'Malley, who signed on to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and issued an executive order creating the Maryland Commission on Climate Change yesterday at Sandy Point Park on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, said that in the absence of federal action to combat global warming, states must step up their efforts.

Baltimore Sun, April 21

   

Maryland joins RGGI carbon-cutting pact

Maryland on Friday became the 10th state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is an affiliation of U.S. Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The RGGI states aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electric generation using a cap-and-trade program similar to the federal acid rain reduction programs.

Reuters, April 20

   

Md. Joins Greenhouse Gas Pact: Next Steps Crucial, Says UMD Expert

Today's decision by Governor O'Malley to join an interstate initiative limiting carbon dioxide emissions has major national significance, says a University of Maryland expert, but next steps will decide how effective it will be as a response to climate change. Maryland will join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a cooperative agreement among nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

Official University Press Release, April 20

   

Professors say Maryland could submerge

"With temperatures expected to rise between 3.2 and 7.8 degrees and sea levels expected to surge between seven and 23 inches over the next century, the Maryland of the future could be partially submerged in up to four feet of water... sea level increases will be determined by greenhouse gas emissions - which contribute to rising temperatures... Maryland, which relies heavily on coal-based electric generation, has one of the highest carbon-emissions levels in the Northeast, which experts say is perpetuating the problem. Maryland, however, is taking steps to improve carbon dioxide emissions. The state is slated to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which would budget the statewide use of carbon dioxide..."

The Diamondback, February 7

   

Greenhouse Gas Pact Will Cut MD CO2 Emissions and Cut Electric Bills, Says UM Study

"If, as planned, Maryland joins a regional compact designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will have a modest positive environmental impact and will not translate into higher bills for electric customers, according to a new study from the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER)..."

Exduco (Italy), February 6

   

Maryland Takes Action Against Greenhouse Gases

"Baltimore, MD (AHN) - Maryland officials plan to participate in a regional group to help the state cut its greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers at the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) say the plan will help the environment while not increasing electric bills..."

All Headline News, February 5 (Free registration required)

   

State Politics Week in Review

"So, what would it take to clean up the Chesapeake Bay by 2010?  At least $28 billion, The Washington Post reported -- and that extraordinarily high figure is just one of the requirements. Reaching the 2010 goal set by state and federal leaders looks like an increasingly dim possibility, The Post reported, despite notable successes such as Maryland's 'flush tax.'  O'Malley, for his part, has been aggressive in his environmental pursuits, including toughening car emissions standards, fully funding Program Open Space and reviving the Smart Growth program.  And in a week in which global warming made international news, a University of Maryland study concluded that tackling the problem need not be economically harmful. O'Malley acknowledged the report's findings and signaled his commitment to battling climate change..."

Baltimore Sun, February 5 (Free registration required)

   

RGGI Will Cut Maryland CO2 Emissions, Electricity Bills

"If, as planned, Maryland joins a regional compact designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will have a modest positive environmental impact and will not translate into higher bills for electric customers, according to a new study from the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Environmental Research (VP for Research; Public Policy). The study is the first to look at the economic and environmental effects of having a heavy coal-based electric generation state like Maryland join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative agreement among Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. The researchers say that in the absence of a national policy, the findings suggest that a regional, multi-state approach could help limit carbon emissions..."

Environmental Leader, February 2

   

Study: Cutting Power Plant Emissions Won't Hurt Economy

"If Maryland follows through on its promise to cut greenhouse gases from power plants, it won't have a negative economic effect, according to a new University of Maryland report. Power companies could see reduced profits, but consumers actually would see a slight savings - $22 per year on electric bills.  Dr. Matthias Ruth, the lead author, said the study shows that helping the environment can make economic sense.  'One can do good environmental policy that is also cost-effective and sound economically,. said Dr. Ruth, director of the university's Center for Integrative Environmental Research.  The study was a required part of the Healthy Air Act, a power plant pollution bill passed by state lawmakers last year. In addition to requiring reductions of mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide at coal-burning power plants, the bill directed the state to join a regional effort to reduce carbon dioxide by this summer..."

Annapolis Capital, February 2

   

Report Examines Effects of Global Warming

"Reducing global warming gases from power plants in Maryland will not hurt consumers or cause blackouts, but it will cut utility profits and require the state to import more electricity, according to a report released yesterday. 'This shows one can do good environmental policy that is also sound economically,' said Matthias Ruth, principal investigator of the study led by the University of Maryland. The 179-page report examines what will happen after July when Maryland joins a coalition of nine Northeastern states that have pledged a 10 percent trim in carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants by 2018. The conclusion that carbon dioxide generated by the burning of coal and oil is increasing the heat-trapping layer of greenhouse gases around the Earth is reinforced by a recent report by a panel of United Nations scientists..."

Baltimore Sun, February 2 (Free registration required)

   

Greenhouse Initiative Will Cut, Not Raise, Electric Bills

"Saturation coverage, Associated Press: "Electricity bills will decrease more than $100 million by 2010 and more than $200 million by 2025 because of energy efficiency measures tied to the program which will lower demand, according to a new study by the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research. The study is the first to look at economic and environmental effects of a state with a large coal-fired generating base joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the researchers said..."

Boston Globe, February 2

   

Forcing Md. Power Plants To Reduce CO2 Will Actually Save Consumers Cash, Study Says

Capital News Service: " 'We concluded that there is a modest positive effect, it will actually lower a consumer's electricity bill by about $22 dollars per year,' said Steve Gabriel, co-principal investigator at the University of Maryland. 'We can breathe a sigh of relief. Actually, we can breathe better, because that, after all, is the intent of the program.'... The Maryland Department of the Environment requested the University of Maryland to conduct an independent study to understand how Maryland's energy economy - which replies heavily on coal powered plants - would be affected by introducing a cap-and-trade system..."

Southern Maryland Online, February 1

   

Maryland to Benefit in Regional Greenhouse Gas Plan, Study Says

"Maryland's entry into an eight-state greenhouse gas reduction plan would benefit the state's economy and reduce power bills for consumers, a study by the University of Maryland found.... The study, released today, was requested by Maryland officials. Under the plan, power plants fueled by coal, oil and natural gas would either begin to cut their carbon dioxide output in 2009, or purchase credits from plants that exceed their reduction requirements.  Maryland plans to auction 25 percent of its emission credits and use the proceeds to reduce power consumption. The rest would be given to plant owners in amounts that decline annually. 'There is virtually no effect on consumers in Maryland because the money raised from the auction will go directly into ways to reduce consumption,' Karen Palmer (Public Policy), an economist at Resources For the Future and an author of the study, said on a conference call..." 

Bloomberg News, February 1

   

Impact of MD Joining Greenhouse Gas Pact: RFF Scholars Karen Palmer and Dallas Burtraw collaborate on study

"If, as planned, Maryland joins a regional compact designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will have a modest positive environmental impact and will not translate into higher bills for electric customers, according to a new study from the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) done in collaboration with Resources for the Future, The Johns Hopkins University, and Towson University..."

Resources for the Future, February 1

   

Greenhouse Gas Pact Will Cut Md. CO2 Emissions and Cut Electric Bills, Says UM Study

If, as planned, Maryland joins a regional compact designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will have a modest positive environmental impact and will not translate into higher bills for electric customers, according to a new study from the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER).

Official University Press Release, February 1

   

Television News

   

WUSA-TV (Washington) and WJZ-TV (Baltimore), do on-air reports on CIER's findings

Federal Broadcast Monitoring, February 2 (No transcripts)

WCAX-TV (Vermont), Greenhouse initiative will cut, not raise, electric bills

Reuters (New York), Power bills to fall if Maryland joins RGGI-study

   

Radio News & Audio Recordings

   

Greenhouse Gas Pact Will Cut Md. CO2 Emissions and Cut Electric Bills, Says UM Study

If, as planned, Maryland joins a regional compact designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it will have a modest positive environmental impact and will not translate into higher bills for electric customers, according to a new study from the University of Maryland's Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER).

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