Now is it just me or would it be better if we didn't pollute in the first place? I figure if those offsets bring some sheckles into the state, they can't be all bad.

Carbon Offsets/REC's News

Carbon Offsets and Renewable Energy Credits

To explain this community topic in a nutshell: There's a new marketplace out there, where people can buy and sell the right to pollute the atmosphere (trade).  The government can limit these rights to so many tons of carbon per year (cap).  This type of system is called "Cap and Trade".  Polluters (even car drivers) can buy renewable energy credits, which pay people to generate clean energy, to offset their carbon production. Please join the conversation...

two smoke stacks on a housetop spewing smoke

Maine Nets $2.2 Million in RGGI Auction
09/17/2016 - 3:00pm

Air pollution image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.netOn September 9, 2016, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced the results of the 33rd auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances by the nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution.

The September 7th auction was the third auction of 2016, and generated $67.7 million.  There were 14,911,315 CO2 allowances were sold at the auction at a clearing price of $4.54.  Bids for allowances ranged from $2.10 to $12.65 per allowance.  The money generated is allocated among the nine RGGI States which in turn utilize and invest the funds pursuant to state laws and rules. 

Maine’s portion of Auction 33 proceeds is about $2.2 million.  Since RGGI’s inception, Maine has received $81.8 million which has been used to finance rate relief, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  Many of these programs and projects are managed through the Efficiency Maine Trust.  

“I am pleased that the market monitor has reported that Auction 33 was a competitive auction with no indication of market manipulation or collusion,” said MPUC Commissioner Carlisle McLean, who also serves as the RGGI Inc. Treasurer.  She also said, “RGGI continues to make strides toward a clean, low-cost electricity system while also providing revenue for each state to invest to their advantage.  Although one of the smaller RGGI states, Maine continues to benefit from participating in the program.” 

About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the third RGGI control period (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have implemented a mandatory market-based regulatory program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The 2016 RGGI cap is 86.5 million short tons. The RGGI cap declines 2.5 percent each year until 2020.  The RGGI states also include interim adjustments to the RGGI cap to account for banked CO2 allowances.  The 2016 RGGI adjusted cap is 64.6 million short tons.  RGGI is composed of individual CO2 budget trading programs in each state, based on each state’s independent legal authority.  A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one short ton of CO2, as issued by a respective state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions for each three-year control period.  RGGI’s third control period began on January 1, 2015 and extends through December 31, 2017. For more information visit

Image credit: Air pollution image courtesy of

E2Tech Hosts its First Expo Oct. 1
09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Proceeds Announced
01/16/2013 - 5:10pm

The ten states shown in dark green are participating in RGGI (except New Jersey, which is currently not participating). Observers and participating provinces are represented in lime green courtesy of WikipediaIn the 18th quarterly cap-and-trade auction held in December of 2012, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (or RGGI) brought $1,224,330 into Maine's coffers. This brought Maine's cumulative revenue count to $34,246,622 since the inception of the auctions. Auction proceeds fund various energy efficiency and weatherization programs in Maine.

Read all about it in Maine Insights.

Fracking Wells Closed in Wake of Earthquake
01/04/2012 - 1:09pm

Ohio's Natural Resources Department has ordered the indefinite closure of four wells used for hydraulic fracturing or fracking, a controversial process for extracting of natural gas, in the wake of a series of small and one magnitude 4.0 earthquake in and around Youngstown in recent weeks. 

"They will (not open) until we are satisfied that the process can be safely resumed," said Andy Ware, a spokesman for the department.

Over 44% of Maine's electricity is generated from natural gas, so we may be complicit in causing these quakes. See the full article on CNN.

Pingree and Friends Break Ground on MaineHousing's Weatherization Carbon Trade with Chevrolet
07/01/2011 - 9:18am

MaineHousing has developed a process to record and verify the carbon emissions reductions resulting from energy efficiency work. In a first of its kind deal, Chevrolet is purchasing those reductions as part of its goal to displace up to 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by investing in U.S. clean energy projects. On Monday, June 27, a flock of dignitaries led by US Congresswoman Chellie Pingree celebrated the first completed weatherization under the program at a home in Freeport. 

Read the full story on the Maine State Housing Authority's website.

Chevrolet Funds Maine Home Weatherizations Through Carbon Offsets
02/22/2011 - 4:57pm

The Maine State Housing Authority has announced a deal with Chevrolet to fund the weatherization of approximately 170 low-income Maine homes through the sale of carbon offsets valued at just under $1 million.  This carbon offset sale is blazing a new trail into the voluntary carbon offset market, a separate marketplace from the one established by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). By weatherizing homes, carbon emissions are reduced.  These reductions serve to offset the emissions from vehicles sold by Chevrolet. The deal is part of a $40 million investment in clean energy projects over two years, announced by Chevrolet in December 2010.
Read the full article by Beth Quimby in the Portland Press Herald.