News Releases

April 23, 2009

Governor Douglas Hails EPA ‘Climate Protection Award’ for RGGI States

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Protection Award given out on Earth Day, saying Vermont’s leadership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is charting a course for action on climate change efforts.

The award recognizes the 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI for leading the way toward federal climate legislation.

The Climate Protection Awards were presented at an annual awards ceremony held in Washington, DC.

“Vermont is the greenest state in the nation and was the first to sign onto RGGI,” Governor Douglas said. “I maintain that the course to economic prosperity is tied to our abundant natural resources and respect for a healthy working landscape. I call it the Vermont Way.”

The EPA recognized the RGGI states for their leadership in building a model cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Each participating state has implemented rules to cap emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-fired power plants. Together, the RGGI states auction over 80 percent of allowances and dedicate the proceeds to consumer benefit programs. To date, the RGGI states have conducted three auctions that have generated over $262 million for energy efficiency, energy conservation, clean energy development, and other consumer benefit programs throughout the region.

Winners of the awards were chosen on the basis of originality and public purpose; global perspective and implication; and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

"EPA applauds the leadership of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in protecting our global environment," said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Director of EPA Climate Protection Partnerships Division. "You have set the bar high, and for that, we thank you."

To date, the EPA has presented over 150 awards to individuals, dedicated companies, forward-thinking organizations, and government institutions from eighteen countries, including Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Last year, 15 individuals and organizations earned the award by advancing climate science, slashing energy consumption, inventing technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and inspiring others to take action. More information about past winner accomplishments is available online at www.epa.gov/cppd/climateawards.

This year’s ceremony was attended by over 200 high-ranking corporate officers, notable individuals, influential NGOs, and foreign dignitaries who are current or previous winners of the Climate Protection Awards.

The Climate Protection Partnerships Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the EPA Climate Protection Awards. This award program was established in 1998 to recognize exceptional leadership, outstanding innovation, personal dedication, and technical achievements in protecting the climate.

About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have designed the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Participating States have regulations in place to cap and then reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that power plants in their region are allowed to emit, limiting the region’s total contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. Power sector CO2 emissions are capped at current levels through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent.

A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of each compliance period. Because CO2 allowances issued by any participating state are usable across all state programs, the ten individual state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, in aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions. For more information about RGGI, turn to: www.rggi.org

About Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc.

RGGI, Inc. was created in September 2007 to provide technical and administrative services to the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. For more information please visit: www.rggi.org/rggi

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: April 23, 2009 15:51:30