This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 21, 2007

Midwestern Governors Sign Climate and Energy Pacts

Governors from six Midwestern states—Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin—and the Premier of Manitoba signed an agreement on November 15th that will lead to a regional cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. The Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord commits the six states and the province to establish targets for greenhouse gas reductions and to develop the cap-and-trade system, all within the next year. The targets will apply to multiple sectors (not just electric utilities) and will be "consistent with the 60 to 80 percent recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." Indiana, Ohio, and South Dakota also signed on as observers to the agreement, which will be fully implemented within the next two and a half years.

In addition, all of the above Midwestern states, as well as Nebraska and North Dakota, adopted an energy strategy for improved energy efficiency, increased deployment of renewable energy and low-carbon fossil fuel technologies, and carbon dioxide sequestration. Called the Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform for the Midwest, the plan places a heavy emphasis on renewable power and biofuels, including a goal for the region to draw on renewable energy for 30% of its electricity needs by 2030 and a goal for E85 (a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) to be available at one third of the region's filling stations by 2025.

The energy strategy also calls for establishing: a program to help each state government procure biobased products; corridors through the Midwest along which E85 will be available; a database and permitting and siting guidance for advanced bioenergy facilities; a regional initiative to address the electric transmission infrastructure needed to support wind power; and a regional initiative to develop transmission corridors that will support a variety of low-carbon energy resources. All of these programs and initiatives are meant to get underway during the first half of 2008. See the press release from Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, the greenhouse gas accord (PDF 281 KB), and the energy strategy (PDF 2.1 MB). Download Adobe Reader.