Avoiding false choices – seeing the value of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Seth Kaplan

One of the easiest ways to make bad decisions is to allow ourselves to be drawn into a false choice – to see two options as an “either/or” where seeking one goal means stepping away from another. This can be a false choice because, fortunately, sometimes making the right decision will yield a double benefit.

When we have an opportunity to reduce energy use and harmful emissions while building jobs and the economy we encounter that kind of golden moment: when the right choice yields double, triple and even quadruple benefits.

There are people who will reject this formulation – who will present that most fundamental of false choices: the flawed argument that making the right choice for our environment and the public health is bad for the economic health of our communities and building jobs.

We are surrounded by proof that economic benefit flows from the same actions that reduce dirty energy use and emissions. The nation-leading energy efficiency programs funded by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which have created jobs while slashing the energy bills of families and businesses of the Northeast is a prime example.  A recent report issued by the states participating in RGGI (described here) provides hard numbers documenting this happy phenomena.

But we can do far better – and we need to if we are going to address the fundamental challenge of global warming and if we are going build the new economic base that can provide jobs and financial security for the future. Building that cleaner and more secure future will mean building on the successes of RGGI, making it more effective in reducing emissions and creating even more investment in energy efficiency so it slashes even more customer bills and creates even more jobs.

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4 Responses to “Avoiding false choices – seeing the value of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative”

  1. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is non profit environmental advocacy organization based in New England Since 1966.

    The CLF appears to have taken sides in the battle between ocean wind turbines and the fishing fleet in New Bedford. The CLF is working to promote renewable energy in the form of ocean wind turbines in the ocean off New England. In order to install these turbines hundreds of miles of three phase electric wires have to be trenched under the ocean floor and in addition the electric wires heat the ocean floor with unknown consequences. When the wind turbines are complete the federal government plans a no fishing zone in the three thousand square mile area as the electric cables will become a national interest issue.

    The new ocean wind turbine port is scheduled to be built in New Bedford Harbor next to where environmental groups have known since 1996 that the Cannon Street Power plant sits in the most polluted marine environment in the country yet nothing has ever been done about the toxic abandoned power plant. In between the toxic power plant and the new ocean wind turbine port 2000 feet away the City of New Bedford is planning to spend 7.9 million dollars on Palmer’s Island to turn it into a bird sanctuary. There is something terribly wrong with this picture with a failure to protect marine habitat and defend public health in the building of the ocean wind turbine port next the toxic power plant.

    The way to build healthy fishing communities is to keep the fishing fleet tied up at the docks so the dock space can be used for the wind turbines

  2. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is non profit environmental advocacy organization based in New England Since 1966.

    The CLF appears to have taken sides in the battle between ocean wind turbines and the fishing fleet in New Bedford. The CLF is working to promote renewable energy in the form of ocean wind turbines in the ocean off New England. In order to install these turbines hundreds of miles of three phase electric wires have to be trenched under the ocean floor and in addition the electric wires heat the ocean floor with unknown consequences. When the wind turbines are complete the federal government plans a no fishing zone in the three thousand square mile area as the electric cables will become a national interest issue.

    The new ocean wind turbine port is scheduled to be built in New Bedford Harbor next to where environmental groups have known since 1996 that the Cannon Street Power plant sits in the most polluted marine environment in the country yet nothing has ever been done about the toxic abandoned power plant. In between the toxic power plant and the new ocean wind turbine port 2000 feet away the City of New Bedford is planning to spend 7.9 million dollars on Palmer’s Island to turn it into a bird sanctuary. There is something terribly wrong with this picture with a failure to protect marine habitat and defend public health in the building of the ocean wind turbine port next the toxic power plant.

    The way to build healthy fishing communities is to keep the fishing fleet tied up at the docks so the dock space can be used for the wind turbines

  3. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is non profit environmental advocacy organization based in New England Since 1966.

    The CLF appears to have taken sides in the battle between ocean wind turbines and the fishing fleet in New Bedford. The CLF is working to promote renewable energy in the form of ocean wind turbines in the ocean off New England. In order to install these turbines hundreds of miles of three phase electric wires have to be trenched under the ocean floor and in addition the electric wires heat the ocean floor with unknown consequences. When the wind turbines are complete the federal government plans a no fishing zone in the three thousand square mile area as the electric cables will become a national interest issue.

    The new ocean wind turbine port is scheduled to be built in New Bedford Harbor next to where environmental groups have known since 1996 that the Cannon Street Power plant sits in the most polluted marine environment in the country yet nothing has ever been done about the toxic abandoned power plant. In between the toxic power plant and the new ocean wind turbine port 2000 feet away the City of New Bedford is planning to spend 7.9 million dollars on Palmer’s Island to turn it into a bird sanctuary. There is something terribly wrong with this picture with a failure to protect marine habitat and defend public health in the building of the ocean wind turbine port next the toxic power plant.

    The way to build healthy fishing communities is to keep the fishing fleet tied up at the docks so the dock space can be used for the wind turbines

  4. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is non profit environmental advocacy organization based in New England Since 1966.

    The CLF appears to have taken sides in the battle between ocean wind turbines and the fishing fleet in New Bedford. The CLF is working to promote renewable energy in the form of ocean wind turbines in the ocean off New England. In order to install these turbines hundreds of miles of three phase electric wires have to be trenched under the ocean floor and in addition the electric wires heat the ocean floor with unknown consequences. When the wind turbines are complete the federal government plans a no fishing zone in the three thousand square mile area as the electric cables will become a national interest issue.

    The new ocean wind turbine port is scheduled to be built in New Bedford Harbor next to where environmental groups have known since 1996 that the Cannon Street Power plant sits in the most polluted marine environment in the country yet nothing has ever been done about the toxic abandoned power plant. In between the toxic power plant and the new ocean wind turbine port 2000 feet away the City of New Bedford is planning to spend 7.9 million dollars on Palmer’s Island to turn it into a bird sanctuary. There is something terribly wrong with this picture with a failure to protect marine habitat and defend public health in the building of the ocean wind turbine port next the toxic power plant.

    The way to build healthy fishing communities is to keep the fishing fleet tied up at the docks so the dock space can be used for the wind turbines

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