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Regional Policy/Programs

Economy to Affect GHG Limits in California?

April 19, 2010 3:23 PM | Posted by max.zygmont@alston.com | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Regional Policy/Programs

With ongoing economic concerns, many cities in California hope to see the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adjust regional greenhouse gas emissions targets.  The regional greenhouse gas emission targets will force the development and implementation of plans at the regional and local level to reduce greenhouse gases emitted from vehicles.

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Group Sets Greenhouse Gas Goals

June 9, 2009 3:03 PM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): Regional Policy/Programs

A group established by the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) for the purpose of establishing a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has leaked some of the details of the program.

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New Hampshire Officially Signs Onto RGGI

June 13, 2008 3:24 PM | Posted by ben.snowden@alston.com | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Regional Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets

On June 11, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed into law legislation making his State a part of  the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  The legislation also authorizes a cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions, following the RGGI model statute, and establishes a state energy conservation and efficiency board.  Like the RGGI model cap-and-trade law, the New Hampshire statute provides for the auctioning of almost all allowances, but does allow early reduction allowances to be granted to affected CO2 sources.

Other RGGI signatories including Maine and New York have proposed or implemented all-auction trading schemes, as well.

Western Climate Initiative Announces GHG Reduction Goals

August 23, 2007 12:45 PM | Posted by kipp.coddington@alston.com | Topic(s): Regional Policy/Programs

On August 22, 2007, as expected, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) announced agreement on a regional GHG reduction goal. The WCI partners consist of the States of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington (in the United States) and the Provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba (in Canada). The goal is to achieve an aggregate reduction of 15% below 2005 levels by the year 2020. The WCI effort does not supplant specific State or Provincial efforts, such as AB32 in California, but instead is intended to be complimentary. Indeed, many of the partners already had established their own goals.

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Maine Governor Signs RGGI-Model Statute

June 21, 2007 6:17 PM | Posted by kipp.coddington@alston.com | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Regional Policy/Programs

Contrary to the wishes of utilities which prefer the emission allowances be issued by the government without cost instead of auctioned, it appears that the RGGI states are moving toward an all-auction model. On June 18, 2006, Maine Governor Baldacci signed into law Maine’s version of the RGGI model statute (see LD 1851, item 1, 123rd Maine State Legislature. The bill requires 100% of the allowances to be auctioned, which of course means that emitters needing allowances will have to pay for them. New York recently announced that it also intends to require 100% auction of allowances. The manner in which allowances are distributed is a hotly contested part of any cap-and-trade scheme and influences the magnitude of emitters’ compliance costs.

Western Governors Association Enacts Pro-CCS Resolution

June 15, 2007 6:29 PM | Posted by kipp.coddington@alston.com | Topic(s): Regional Policy/Programs, Carbon Capture & Storage/Sequestration

On June 10th, the Western Governors Association enacted a resolution calling for federal and State regulators to enact various pro-CCS policies, as follows:

  • Adequate funding of the USGS for purposes of preparation a nationwide inventory of geological storage capacity.
  • Adequate federal funding for the identification and mitigation of any risks and liabilities associated with carbon sequestration.
  • Adequate federal funding to support the identification and development of CO2 pipeline infrastructure necessary to transport CO2 to sequestration areas.
  • Development of regulations that provide for legal consistency in the treatment of CO2, whether it is sequestered through enhanced oil recovery or in designated sequestration storage areas.
  • Development of federal state credits to be awarded for the capture and sequestration of
    carbon dioxide.

The WGA directed staff to “work with federal agencies and trade associations to identify research funding necessary to identify and mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with carbon sequestration, develop a pipeline transport system that can move carbon dioxide to enhanced oil recovery and sequestration areas, and develop legal consistency in the treatment of carbon dioxide.”

State And Regional Developments

May 1, 2007 8:53 AM | Posted by kipp.coddington@alston.com | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Regional Policy/Programs, Carbon Capture & Storage/Sequestration

In the absence of a clear legal and regulatory framework by the federal government, states and regions have undertaken initiatives to address the use of Carbon, Capture and Storage (“CCS”) technology as a means to mitigate climate change. Some of these initiatives are summarized below: (1) model climate change legislation which refers to CCS is being introduced in numerous States; (2) some States are moving forward on regulations and incentives in a manner that would support commercial activity; (3) other States are pursuing approaches which could be interpreted less favorably; and (4) a handful of States is competing for CCS business as a matter of economic development. The less-commercially focused CCS efforts in the States appear to be well organized and well funded (to the tune of millions of dollars, according to media reports).

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