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Ken Kimmell

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About the author: With more than 30 years of experience in government, environmental policy, and advocacy, Ken Kimmell joined UCS as president in May 2014. Prior to joining UCS, he served as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). As commissioner, he served as chairman of the board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), helping to prod the nine member states to reduce power plant carbon emissions by almost 50 percent through 2020, avoiding some 90 million tons of emissions in the region. See Ken's full bio.

Cap and Trade: Alive and Well

After reading his obituary, Mark Twain famously remarked that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” When a national climate bill failed in 2010, a lot of people said that so-called cap and trade programs to cut heat-trapping gases were dead. The claim was exaggerated then, and proven wrong now. Recent results in the northeast and California show that cap and trade is alive and well, and poised to expand in the next several years. Read More

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Bio-what? Organic Waste Can Provide Clean Energy

Before I became president of UCS, I served as Massachusetts’ environmental commissioner, and I pushed hard to turn an environmental problem (food waste) into a clean energy solution (biogas). It is great to see that the federal government has signed on to this idea.

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New Jersey, Come Back! An Open Letter to Governor Christie on RGGI

Dear Governor Christie:

I read today that you plan on formally pulling your state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nine state “cap and trade” program that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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Three Reasons Why America Has a Shot at Leading on Global Warming

This Fourth of July I am thinking about three traits that define Americans at their best:  decency, reverence for facts, and confidence.  These qualities, which aren’t always on display, but are nevertheless woven into our national DNA, make me optimistic about our country rising to the challenge posed by climate change. Read More

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Cape Wind Gets a Big Boost: Clean Offshore Wind Power on the Way

My favorite offshore wind project, Cape Wind, just cleared a major hurdle today, landing a $150 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. This is a project that should capture your imagination; for me, it is a symbol of our national commitment to clean energy. Read More

Categories: Energy, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming  

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EPA Carbon Standards Announcement: A Potential Climate Game Changer

Today I was fortunate to attend and hear EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s stirring speech announcing the EPA power plant carbon standards. And then dived into reading the 645-page rule plus numerous associated documents. I’m not quite done, but here are some first impressions.  The bottom line: the draft rule has many promising elements and there are opportunities to strengthen it as it moves toward finalization next June. Read More

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How One State Cut its Carbon and Created Jobs

Last week I started as the new President of UCS, and this week I’m starting as our newest blogger. I couldn’t be more excited. I spent the last seven years as a public official in Massachusetts, including the last three as the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. So it is only natural that my “inaugural” blog will focus on my experience in Massachusetts and, in particular, my state’s remarkable success in cutting carbon and growing a clean energy economy at the same time. Our track record in Massachusetts holds important lessons for the nation. Read More

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