After a two-year-long review, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has released updated rules for gas emissions.
The biggest change is a reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide companies can produce. The carbon dioxide “cap” will be lowered 45 percent in 2014, from 165 million tons to 91 million tons. The cap will decrease 2.5 percent a year from 2015 to 2020. Businesses will have a cost containment reserve of allowances to pay for carbon credits if carbon dioxide allowance prices exceed $4 starting in 2014, and $2 more a year through 2017. Carbon dioxide allowances that went unsold last year or this year won’t be reoffered.
The RGGI Board says the changes will generate $1.6 billion in economic benefits throughout the Northeast, save consumers $1.1 billion, create 16,000 jobs a year, and keep $765 million in local economies by reducing fossil fuel demand.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has nine member states: all six New England states, along with New York, Delaware and Maryland.
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