Three Important Updates on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Better Known as RGGI ("Reggie")

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1. RGGI Returns Big Figures for States:

In February of 2014, RGGI reported the cumulative proceeds for the sale of carbon allowances over a three year period (2009-2012) (Report).  Below are the figures for local states:

Connecticut$65,167,703
Maine$34,246,622
Massachusetts$178,921,781
New Hampshire$42,452,629
Rhode Island$17,977,485

2. Out or In?  NJ’s Withdrawal Broke the Law:

A NJ appellate court recently ruled that Governor Christie’s administration violated state law by withdrawing from RGGI without entering into a formal rulemaking process.  A notice and comment period must now be set up to determine if citizens of NJ would prefer to be in or out of RGGI.  (See more here.)

3. Positive Signs:

  • After four years of capping and trading carbon, RGGI’s emission cap was ratcheted down starting in 2014.  The cap was reduced from 164 million tons of carbon to 91 million—a 45% reduction.  This reduction should help RGGI achieve its reduction goals.  You can wade into the weeds here: Summary of RGGI Model Rule Changes.
  • RGGI’s latest auction yielded its highest allowance price in its short history—$4 per allowance. The rise in allowance price is most certainly a result of RGGI’s reduced cap.  More here on Auction #23.
  • More to Come: In Sept. of 2013, the U.S. EPA released a proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.  Earlier in the same year, President Obama instructed EPA to develop similar regulations for existing power plants.  Both rules are important to RGGI because they will likely make the program more attractive to non-RGGI states seeking to comply with the law in an efficient and effective manner. 
Posted on March 26, 2014 .