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Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, D-Del., has signed Senate Bill 263, authorizing the state to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based program designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants. The program includes nine other mid-Atlantic and northeastern states.

The legislation establishes the framework for Delaware's program and authorizes the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to adopt regulations to fully implement the law. The 10-state initiative begins Jan. 1, 2009.

"As a coastal state, we are at great risk from the effects of climate change and rising sea levels," says Minner. "Many other states are learning from the RGGI model, and I am pleased that Delaware can now be a part of this historic program to begin to seriously address the challenges presented by GHG emissions and their impacts."

Under the program, fossil fuel power plants must purchase credits equal to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions they produce. One credit is equivalent to one ton of CO2. Each participating state will receive an allocation of credits based on an average of emissions from regulated power plants (25 MW or larger). RGGI states will hold regular auctions allowing power plant operators to purchase credits needed.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Minner

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