Maryland is committed to finding real bipartisan, common sense solutions to protect our environment, combat climate change, and improve our air quality. By working together, we are showing that it is possible to find consensus to protect our natural resources, promote clean energy, and grow our economy for current and future generations.
On August 23, 2017, after completing a comprehensive 1.5 year review, Maryland and the other RGGI participating states announced a consensus agreement on proposed program changes. A regional emissions cap trajectory is proposed that will provide an additional 30% cap reduction by the year 2030 with important new features and innovations. This announcement may be found on the RGGI website.
The RGGI Program is a fundamental component of Maryland's GHG reduction strategy. As the first program of its kind in the United States, RGGI serves as a model and inspiration to other states and regions to either participate in RGGI or implement their own regional CO2 trading initiatives.
RGGI is a cooperative effort by nine northeast and mid-Atlantic states to reduce CO2 emissions generated by fossil fuel-fired power plants while maintaining affordable and reliable electricity service. Maryland formally began participation in RGGI in 2007 by signing the Second Amendment to the RGGI Memorandum of Understanding. Other states currently participating are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
RGGI is structured as a "cap and invest" program, with a regional cap or limit on CO2 emissions that declines by a certain percentage annually. States are allocated a portion of the total cap, which they distribute as "allowances" permitting the holder to emit one short ton (2,000 lbs.) of CO2 per allowance. Each state participating in the regional initiative has developed its own program and regulations based on a fundamental blueprint provided by the RGGI Model Rule (2013). States sell a majority of emission allowances at regional quarterly auctions, and auction proceeds fund various state and local programs which promote energy efficiency, renewable energy or other consumer benefits. In this way, emission reductions are addressed from the perspective of both supply and demand.
The RGGI states are currently engaged in a program review to determine the regional cap, reduction percentage, allocation and other program elements moving forward from 2020. This review includes an extensive modeling process executed by a contracted third party, as well as robust stakeholder and expert involvement, to inform the best possible decision for the continued advancement of program goals.
Upcoming stakeholder meetings may be found on the MDE calendar and the RGGI website.
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