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More than 20% of RGGI proceeds from 2008-2014 not invested in clean energy

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More than 20% of RGGI proceeds from 2008-2014 not invested in clean energy

Although 72% of the total proceeds from the RegionalGreenhouse Gas Initiative's quarterly auctions was invested in efficiency andrenewable energy programs from 2008 through 2014, more than 20% of the total fundscollected was earmarked for other purposes by the participating states.

Nine RGGI states invested $1.37 billion into mostly energyefficiency and renewable energy programs between 2008 and 2014, according to arecent report, "The Investment of RGGI Proceeds through 2014,"released at the end of September. But cumulative RGGI proceedsactually totaled $1.9 billion from the program's inception in late 2008 untilthe end of 2014 after accounting for a $34 million fiscal year adjustment. With$113.3 million, or 6% of the total proceeds, netted by New Jersey from2009-2011 before the state left the program, $93.1 million, or 5% of totalproceeds, was moved to general fund accounts by two states and $329.4 million,or 17%, was designated for future programs.

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RGGI, which comprises Connecticut,Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, RhodeIsland, and Vermont, cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. Thestates sell roughly 90% of all emissions allowances through quarterly auctionsand investing proceeds in energy efficiency, renewable energy and otherconsumer benefit programs.

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The RGGI participating states are able to choose how theyinvest proceeds from the quarterly allowance auctions, with investment activityfalling into four major categories: energy efficiency, clean and renewableenergy, greenhouse gas abatement and direct bill assistance.

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Broken down by participating state, New York saw the largestproceeds from its RGGI participation: a total of $728.2 million from 2008through 2014. Of that cumulative total, $90 million was transferred to thestate's general fund in 2009 and $172.1 million was allotted to 2015 and futureprograms.

Maryland's RGGI proceeds totaled $373.9 million from 2008through 2014. Of that total, $320.5 million was used for energy investments,with $53.4 million to be used for future programs.

Massachusetts received a total of $316.5 million in auctionproceeds from 2008 through 2014. According to the report, $11.9 million of thatfigure was set aside for future programs.

From 2008 through 2014, Connecticut received a total of$125.4 million in RGGI auction proceeds, with $109.0 million reinvested inclean energy programs and $16.4 million assigned for future programs.

In New Hampshire from 2008 through 2014, total RGGI proceedswere $72.1 million. Of that total figure, $3.1 million was transferred to theNew Hampshire general fund in 2010 and $1.2 million was earmarked for 2015 andfuture programs.

Maine saw a total of $53.6 million in RGGI auction proceedsfrom 2008 through 2014, with $37.1 million used for clean energy investmentsand $16.5 million to be used for 2015 and future programs.

From 2008 through 2014 Rhode Island collected $35.7 millionin auction proceeds from RGGI. Of that total, $14.5 million was used for energyefficiency and renewable programs, while $21.2 million was set aside for 2015and beyond.

Vermont received $14.5 million in auction proceeds in theperiod covered by this report, nearly all of which was invested back into cleanenergy investments and programs.

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