Northeastern States Sign Pact to Limit Greenhouse Gases

January 11, 2006

Seven northeastern states announced an agreement in December to implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which will regulate carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fueled power plants in those states. The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets a cap on each state's carbon dioxide emissions from 2009 through 2014, after which the emissions will decline 10 percent by 2019. The RGGI will allow trading of emissions credits to help achieve the caps, and will allow credits for projects that capture and burn landfill methane; that encourage end-use energy efficiency for natural gas, propane, and heating oil; and for other projects.

Under the RGGI, the participating states hope to become "world leaders in the creation, development, and deployment of carbon emission control technologies, renewable energy supplies, energy-efficient technologies, and demand-side management practices," according to the MOU. To implement the RGGI, the states anticipate the release of a draft Model Rule for public comment by March. The RGGI is expected to take effect on January 1st, 2009. See the RGGI Web site and the press releases from New York Governor George Pataki and Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner.