News : RGGI will let the region thrive

May 13, 2013

From The Portsmouth Herald

By Chris Meyer

Back in 2008, one year into the Great Recession, I started a brand-new business.

Crazy?

Just the opposite.

My company, Yankee Thermal Imaging, makes money by helping New Englanders save money on energy. We test buildings with cutting-edge technology that zeroes in on leaks, and then send crews to fix the problems. We've helped scores of families and more than a dozen municipalities save what will likely turn out to be tens of thousands of dollars in energy waste.

The economic downturn raised a lot of awareness about energy costs, and how much thriftier we can be with the right up-front investments. Even as it ebbs, I doubt Americans are likely to turn back. It's not just that we're saving money, we're also helping clean our air and water, and strengthening our nation by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

All this also helps explain why I support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI, the pioneering pact that joins New Hampshire and eight other states in a smarter regional energy strategy. In the next few weeks, our lawmakers will vote on whether to stay in the 3-year-old project. I hope they understand how much RGGI has been strengthening the state economy — and not just clean-energy businesses like mine. The pact provides major incentives for firms to improve their efficiency, which saves money for other efforts, like hiring and investing, which make our economy grow.

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