Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in Maryland
About The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
RGGI is a cooperative, market-based effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. It represents the first cap-and-invest regional initiative implemented in the United States. Read the
RGGI 101 Fact Sheet.
RGGI In Maryland
Science has demonstrated that Earth's climate is being altered by human activities, principally by the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere.
The actions Maryland takes to mitigate climate change at the state level are integral to protecting the future and prosperity of not only the state of Maryland but also the United States and the global community.
The RGGI program is a central 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 twelve northeast and mid-Atlantic states to reduce CO2 emissions generated by fossil fuel-fired power plants while benefiting the regional economy. Guiding the program are the shared commitments to reducing CO2 and allowing flexibility and autonomy among the states. Maryland has participated in RGGI since its inception.
RGGI is structured as a "cap and invest" program, with a regional cap or limit on CO2 emissions that declines by a certain amount annually. The states establish individual emission budgets, which they distribute as "allowances" permitting the holder to emit one short ton (2,000 lbs.) of CO2 per allowance. The regional cap consists of the sum of the states' emission budgets. Each participating state has developed its own program and regulations based on the blueprint provided by the RGGI Model Rule. States sell a majority of emission allowances at regional quarterly auctions, and auction proceeds then fund various state and local programs which promote consumer benefits like energy efficiency, renewable energy, and bill assistance.
Thanks to Jessica Russo at NRDC for use of the graphic.