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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, or ReGGIe) is a regional initiative by states in the Northeastern United States region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The RGGI is designing a cap and trade program for emissions from power plants.
Ten states currently participate in the initiative. Pennsylvania, which is a major coal producer and manufacturing state, only participates as an observer.
Additional recommended knowledge
In 2003 George Pataki, then Governor of New York, sent a letter to the governors of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states seeking "to develop a strategy that will help the region lead the nation in the effort to fight global climate change."
In August 2005, the RGGI staff working group proposed an emissions reduction program that would start in 2009 and lead to a stabilization of emissions at current levels (an average of 2002-2004 levels) by 2015. This would be followed by a 10% reduction in emissions between 2015 and 2020. The proposal would also allow participants to purchase offsets to meet 50% of their emission reductions.
As of December 20, 2005, seven Northeastern US states were involved in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Massachusetts and Rhode Island dropped out at the last minute; Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney objected to a lack of opt-out provisions if energy prices exceeded a certain threshold.
Rhode Island rejoined on January 30, 2007. Governor Donald L. Carcieri used his State of the State address to make the announcement. While he reiterated his concern about the impact on energy costs, he said that "I have been assured that those costs can be offset by credits we will receive from other states."
Massachusetts rejoined on January 18, 2007, on the order of newly elected Governor Deval Patrick.
On April 20, 2007, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed an agreement to join, making Maryland the 10th state to join the initiative.
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has also expressed interest in California joining the initiative . It is believed that the state-level program will apply pressure on the federal government to support the Kyoto Protocol.
Climate Change Action Plan
A parallel effort to reduce emissions in the Northeast is the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan, which calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. For comparison: the EU aims to reduce emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and the average reduction required under the Kyoto Protocol is 5.2% by 2012. On December 20, 2005 seven states, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" committing themselves to move forward with the program. Special provisions are made in that document for Massachusetts and Rhode Island to join the effort at any time prior to January 1, 2008.
In addition, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) is building a Regional Greenhouse Gas Registry (RGGR) to help track emissions in the region. This effort is similar to that of the California Climate Action Registry.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Regional_Greenhouse_Gas_Initiative". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|