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July 15, 2013

Greater Stuggles on the Horizon for Existing Generators: New RGGI Emission Reductions Proposed

Under the auspices of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed revised regulations to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  Launched in 2009, RGGI is a cooperative effort among New York and eight other participating states that uses a market-based mechanism to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Recently, New York along with the other participating states completed a comprehensive program review and announced a proposal to lower the regional emissions cap for CO2 by 45%, from 165 million tons to 91 million tons in 2014.  Further emission reductions would be achieved through an additional 2.5 percent reduction every year through 2020, with additional adjustments to address unused allowances in the marketplace.  As part of this proposal, New York and the participating states committed to propose revisions to their respective CO2 Budget Trading Programs to further reduce CO2 emissions from power plants.   New York State has now proposed and noticed revisions to 6 NYCRR Part 242, CO2 Budget Trading Program (the Program) and 6 NYCRR Part 200, General Provisions to implement the RGGI emission reduction proposals, all of which are available on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/92086.html.  Comments on the regulatory proposals are being accepted until September 9, 2013 with the goal of having the regulatory changes finalized and fully implemented by January 1, 2014.

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