Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s administration has issued final amendments to a regulation it says will reduce up to 90 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution from power plants across nine New England and mid-Atlantic states during the next six years.
Massachusetts and eight other states who also adopted revisions — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — are part of the nation's first multi-state "cap-and-trade" program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Less carbon dioxide is polluting the air in the Northeast, prompting state environmental officials to catch up by cutting allowances for emissions in one of only two cap-and-trade programs in the United States.
Officials in all six New England states and Delaware, Maryland and New York are putting in place new rules taking pollution allowances out of circulation and reducing the 2014 limit on emissions to 91 million tons of carbon dioxide from 165 million tons, which reflects emissions levels.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a collaborative effort of nine Northeast and mid-Atlantic states to lower greenhouse emissions. Changes in the program have been announced that are intended to further reduce CO2 emissions and restrict the number of allowances that are sold during the program’s auctions.
More than 50 New York organizations and individuals have asked Governor Cuomo to strengthen the multi-state coalition that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known as RGGI, is undergoing a review that is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Fifty-seven groups and individuals sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo asking that three core principles in RGGI be strengthened during its assessment. Environment New York Director David VanLuven says a strong regional program is crucial.