Infrastructure & Environment

9 States Adopt Stricter CO2 Pollution Rules

December 10, 2013
 

The Patrick administration has issued final amendments to a regulation it says will reduce up to 90 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution from power plants across nine New England and mid-Atlantic states during the next six years.

Massachusetts and the eight other states that also adopted revisions — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — are part of the nation’s first multi-state ‘‘cap-and-trade’’ program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Power plants in the states must buy ‘‘allowances’’ allowing them to emit carbon dioxide. The states auction these allowances.

The revisions to the greenhouse gas initiative standards will lower the existing cap on power plant emissions in the states from the current 165 million tons per year to 91 million tons per year starting in 2014, with additional cuts after that.

By 2020 power plant emissions from the nine states will be half of what it was when the program started in 2005.

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