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The 10 northeast and mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have issued a preliminary release of technical materials outlining the process and requirements for market participants interested in bidding in the program's auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances. The states have committed to cap and then reduce the amount of CO2 that power plants in their region are allowed to emit.

Participating states have decided to move the first auction date, previously announced for Sept. 10, to Sept. 25. The additional time will provide prospective bidders with 60 days from the release of the final auction materials, scheduled for July 24, to prepare their applications to become qualified to bid at the auction and to arrange the necessary capital or credit to bid.

This early release of materials provides information related to the auction schedule, the eligibility criteria for bidders, the auction format, and procedures for how potential bidders can become qualified to participate and indicate their intent to bid. Included in these materials is a detailed description of the information that will be outlined in the formal auction notice.

The RGGI participating states also released a schedule for the CO2 allowances to be offered through 2011 and dates for auctions this year and in 2009. Future sales of CO2 allowances are planned through a steady offering of allowances in quarterly auctions described in the schedule.

It is expected that the RGGI auction will include allowances from Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont, though power plants in all RGGI states and other parties will be eligible to bid. Other RGGI participating states will offer allowances for sale in future auctions as they complete their necessary rulemaking proceedings. A second auction is scheduled for December, with all RGGI participating states expected to offer allowances for sale in the first 2009 auction.

SOURCE: The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

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