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Gov. M. Jodi Rell, R-Conn., will propose legislation to support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a nine-state, regional agreement that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The Governor's proposal will create a regulatory structure for incentives and penalties designed to reduce carbon emissions statewide. Beginning in 2009, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative RGGI agreement would stabilize carbon dioxide emissions from power plants of greater than 25 MW at current levels through 2014, Rell says. This step will be followed by a 10% reduction in emissions by 2019.

RGGI is a cooperative effort by Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The agreement, which was signed by Connecticut in December of 2006, establishes a market-based cap-and-trade auction system that requires major power plants to obtain allowances to cover the amount of their carbon emissions.

In addition, the agreement allows participating states to retain authority over the carbon allowances and to auction them off for public benefit. Power providers who cut their emissions by more than the targeted amount can auction their excess credits to noncompliant plants, the governor adds. Funds raised through the auction of carbon allowances to power providers will be used to strengthen energy conservation and energy efficiency programs, yielding real savings for ratepayers.

"Climate change is a growing concern, and this agreement is part of our longstanding commitment to combat it by reducing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions," comments Rell. "As an added benefit under RGGI, we will be using the free market to further encourage energy efficiency and energy conservation for the benefit of our current and future generations."

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