Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Process Goes Live Today

Press Release

 

Maryland Department of the Environment

Media Contacts

Robert Ballinger
(410) 537-3012

Kim Lamphier
(410) 537-3003

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Auction Process Goes Live Today

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction process goes live today, beginning 60 days of bid preparation for this first-in-the-nation auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances to be held on September 25, 2008.

To obtain more information about the first auction, prospective participants can log on to a conference call “webinar” today (July 24) from 2:00 – 4:00 PM EDT. All materials needed to participate in the upcoming auction and an online question window may be accessed through http://www.rggi.org/trading_auctions.htm. All auction participants must open accounts in the RGGI CO2 Allowance Tracking System; simple guidance for this procedure is available at http://www.rggi.org/tracking.htm.

Today’s Auction Notice opens the process that potential bidders must follow to qualify for and participate in the CO2 allowance auction. The ten RGGI states urge prospective bidders to seize this first opportunity to bid for CO2 allowances by downloading final auction documents from:http://www.rggi.org/trading_auctions.htm. All potential bidders must successfully complete the qualification and approval process to participate in the auction.

The ten Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States pioneering the auction have designed the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a simple and constructive way. The states have committed to cap and then reduce the amount of CO2 that power plants in their region are allowed to emit, limiting the region’s total contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. The auction will generate additional investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the RGGI region and fund programs to combat fuel poverty and support consumers

Opening the auction process, RGGI’s Executive Director Jonathan Schrag said, “This first RGGI auction is a historic moment. The auctions will spur innovation in the energy sector and we anticipate strong interest from bidders. The qualification process is extremely important, so I urge potential bidders to take advantage of the information and technical assistance being made available online today.”

The RGGI auction process was designed with input from stakeholders and all ten participating RGGI states and will provide a platform for the auctioning of each state’s CO2 allowances.

The September 25th auction will offer 12,565,387 CO2 allowances, including CO2 allowances issued by Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. Any CO2 allowances purchased at this auction can be used by a regulated facility for compliance in any of the RGGI states, even if that state does not offer allowances in this auction.

Under the RGGI process, after the ten participating states have stabilized power sector carbon emissions at their capped level by 2014, the cap will be reduced each year from 2015 through 2018.

By holding this auction and the one planned for December, the ten RGGI states have exceeded the commitment made in December 2005. By signing the original Memorandum of Understanding, participating states committed to have a program in place by January 1, 2009. That goal will be met and these early auctions will ensure an ample opportunity for bidders to obtain the allowances they will need for compliance across the entire ten-state region.

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