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Massachusetts announces emissions limits

Dec. 30, 2010 at 9:07 PM

BOSTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Massachusetts officials have announced a plan to reduce greenhouse gases emitted in the state by 25 percent below 1990 levels during the next decade.

The Wednesday announcement of the planned reduction in emissions by cars, homes and businesses puts Massachusetts in the company of California, New Mexico and other states that have taken strong official actions to combat global warming, The New York Times said.

The Massachusetts plan will rely largely on existing programs -- like renewable-energy mandates, energy-efficiency standards for building construction and curbs in the electricity sector -- already in place under a multistate agreement known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the newspaper said.

Massachusetts is one of 10 states participating in the initiative, a cap-and-trade system for electric utilities.

Ian A. Bowles, the state's secretary of energy and environmental affairs, said most of the planned cuts would result in net gains in jobs statewide.

The plan, he said, "puts the lie to the Chicken Little-oriented debate on the national scene" that says emissions reductions come with job losses and economic disruption.

"People who have studied this find you can get your first 20-30 percent of greenhouse-gas cuts without making significant economic trade-offs," he said.

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