Maine Enacts Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Maine Governor John Baldacci has signed a bill to implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) within the state. The initiative is a pact signed by 9 states that regulates carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from fossil-fueled power plants in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Under RGGI, the participating states set a cap on CO2 emissions from 2009 through 2014, after which the emissions will decline 10 percent by 2019. The initiative allows selling and trading of emissions credits to help achieve the caps, and allows credits for a range of projects that encourage energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Maine legislation:
- Establishes a statewide CO2 cap and trade program for fossil-fuel-fired electrical generating units that have a nameplate capacity of 25 megawatts (MW) or more
- Requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop CO2 cap-and-trade rules that ensure credible greenhouse gas emissions reductions
- Authorizes the DEP to adopt rules regarding combined heat and power incentives
- Authorizes the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish and administer the Maine Energy Conservation Board, which will coordinate and plan energy conservation efforts and advise on conservation and carbon reduction efforts
- Authorizes the sale of CO2 emissions allowances (credits) for the benefit of consumers
- Creates the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust, which will be administered by the PUC and will manage revenue created from the sale of emissions credits.
When he signed the bill on June 18, Baldacci said, "Maine is leading by example, and RGGI is a crucial step….These investments will improve the competitiveness of Maine’s businesses and lower electricity rates for consumers, individuals, and businesses."
To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Maine, see:
- Maine news published on the EERE Web site.
- Brief project descriptions from the Maine Energy Office published in the EERE State Energy Program newsletter, Conservation Update.
- Maine publications listed in the EERE State Publications Database.