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State and Regional Climate Change Policy Initiatives

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Addresses
2007 Climate is Energy Conference in San Francisco, CA

The Council's efforts at the state and regional levels are targeted at influencing the development of leading climate change initiatives, including: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Western Climate Initiative (WCI), Implementation of California Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), and the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Accord.

On this page you will find the following::

Upcoming Events

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Committe Meeting Summaries

 Accomplishments & Workplan

 Documents for Member Review & Comment

 Recently Circulated Committee Documents

 State & Regional Climate Change Policy Work

Here are the latest updates and key documents related to the Council's state and regional policy work on:

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

Recent News

Latest RGGI Cap and Trade Auction Marks Success
June 19th, 2009 – Recently, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative –a partnership of 10 Northeastern states that jointly ventured to participate in a regional cap and trade program- successfully conducted its fourth auction of allowances. The total revenue, approximately 104.2 million dollars, will be used to fund numerous projects geared towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and technology development. This recent success demonstrates how market based solutions have the capability to spawn new investment in clean technology, create new green jobs, and promote a better environment.

RGGI started auctioning allowances in September 2008. To date, RGGI has sold 110 million allowances and has raised 66.5 million dollars in revenue. According to RGGI’s market monitors, compliance entities have submitted bids that were more than double the quantity of allowances in 2009 alone. This occurrence helps demonstrate that cap and trade does have credible potential, once implemented.

Most of the programs funded by auction revenues are being directed towards renewable energy and energy efficiency, which is widely seen as a low cost measure to diminish the reliance of fossil fuels. Today, auction funds set aside for energy efficiency have helped States implement weatherization programs, training programs for energy auditors, deployment of combined heat and power and district heating and cooling systems, the subsidization of energy efficiency improvements for small businesses, and other initiatives. Because of energy efficiency’s high return on investment, participating states are starting to experience cost savings while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A complete report on RGGI’s 4th auction can be found here.
Maryland’s Moves Forward with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
May 2009 – The State of Maryland has joined nine other northeastern states to comply with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative- a market based cap and trade program designed to reduce emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel fired plants. The program will require electric generators to purchase an allowance for each ton of CO2 that is emitted via auction. Revenue from allowance purchases will fund energy efficiency initiatives that are expected to achieve additional carbon reductions.

Recently, the Maryland Department of the Environment proposed new amendments to the State’s Code of Maryland
Regulations (COMAR) that are aimed towards carbon abatement. Specifically, proposed amendments comprise of:

  • A Clean Generation Set-Aside Account where allowances will be credited to facilities that apply best available control technology or lowest achievable emissions rates.
  • A Voluntary Renewable Set-Aside account where the Department of the Environment will retire one CO2 allowance for every ton of CO2 a person has avoided through the purchase of a Renewable Energy Credit.
  • A Limited Industrial Exemption that requires a climate action plan; energy efficiency procedures geared towards emissions reduction; and alternative transportation alternatives for eligibility.

More information on Maryland’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative can be found here.

 
Recently Submitted BCSE Comments on RGGI State Policies & Programs:

Western Climate Initiative (WCI)

Recent News

On July 23, 2008  the Western Climate Initiative released their Draft Design of the Regional Cap and Trade Program.  A stakeholder meeting on the Draft Design will be held Tuesday, July 29. The Draft Design document can be found at: http://www.westernclimateinitiative.org.

Recently Submitted BCSE Comments to WCI:

California AB32

Recent News

On July 29, 2008 the Council co-presented a Congressional briefing with World Resources Institute and the California Institute on "The California Global Warming Solutions Act: What Can Congress Learn from the California Experience?" Panelists included: Mr. Anthony Eggert, Science and Technology Advisor, to Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mr. Christopher Busch, Ph.D., Economist, California Climate Program, The Union of Concerned Scientists and Mr. Michael Murray, Director of Corporate Environmental Policy, Sempra Energy.

On June 26, the California Air Resouces Board released the draft of the California AB 32 Scoping Plan. The plan contains the main strategies that California will use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

For more information: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/scopingplan.htm

 
BCSE Comments on CA AB32:

 BCSE Comments on California Legislation

Midwest Governors Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord 

Recent News

Midwestern Governors Lay Framework for a Cap and Trade Program

June 10, 2009 – The Governors from the States of Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Canadian Province of Manitoba have issued a joint set of recommendations for the proposed Midwest Governors Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord (MGGGRA). The States of Ohio, Indiana, South Dakota and the Province of Ontario have also shown interest.

The benchmark goals are similar to the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) currently moving through
Congress: It sets a short-term reduction goal of 20% reduction below 2005 emission levels by 2020 and an 80% reduction below 2050 emissions by 2050 in the long term. Several sectors will be subjected to the cap, ranging from Electricity Generation to Transportation Fuels. However, biomass and biofuel combustion will be given exemptions.

The objective of the cap and trade program is to accelerate the development of low-carbon technologies; mitigate adverse impacts to consumers, industries and manufacturing infrastructure; and enhancing climate change adaptation strategies.

Decisions to provide free allowances or allowances by auction will be at the discretion of the Governor of the respective locality. In turn, revenue will be based on the allowances set for each state/province. One of the benefits of the revenue structure is the Regional Low-Carbon Technology Commercialization Fund- where revenue from set-aside auctions would directly support “commercial risk projects” (i.e. carbon capture and sequestration).

Monitoring and Reporting will be mandatory one year before the start of the program with an expected start date of 2011. Furthermore, the threshold will be set at 20,000 MTCO2e. The implementation of MGGGRA is set to begin if the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) does not get enacted.

More detailed information on the Midwest States’ landmark proposal can be found here.

 State Outreach

To be updated.

 Links to U.S. State & Regional Initiatives

California Air Resources Board & Climate Change (Implementation of AB32): http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cc.htm

California Climate Action Registry: http://www.climateregistry.org/

Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Accord: http://www.midwesternaccord.org/

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: http://www.rggi.org/

Western Climate Initiative: http://www.westernclimateinitiative.org/

The Climate Registry: http://www.theclimateregistry.org/ 

 Staff Contact

If you have specific questions regarding this committee, please contact Ruth McCormick at the Council at rmccormick(at)www.bcse.org or Tel: 202-785-0507.