Rhode Island Joins Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

January 31, 2007

Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri announced January 30 in his State of the State address that Rhode Island will join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce global warming pollution from electric power plants. The move completes a solid block of states across New England that have joined the pact.

RGGI involves 10 northeast states that have agreed to participate in a regional cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from electric power generators by 10 percent by 2019. The initiative requires power plants across the region to gradually reduce their CO22 emissions. For each ton of CO2 emitted, power plants must buy a pollution allowance. The total number of allowances will be reduced over time across the region, reducing the total CO2 emitted.

In his address, Governor Carcieri said, "Rhode Island can boast some of the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any state in our region. This agreement represents a commitment by neighboring states to follow our example." The Rhode Island General Assembly must now create a framework to implement RGGI in the state.

Other states that have signed onto the pact include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Most recently, on January 18, Massachusetts also joined. (See the January 19, 2007 article on the EERE Web site.)

For more information, go to the governor’s January 30 State of the State message.