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Five US Western States to Create Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiative

27 February 2007

At the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association, the governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington signed an agreement that directs their respective states to, within the next six months, develop a regional target for reducing greenhouse gases.

During the next 18 months, they will devise a market-based program, such as a load-based cap and trade program to reach the target.

This MOU sets the stage for a regional cap and trade program, which will provide a powerful framework for developing a national cap and trade program. This agreement shows the power of states to lead our nation addressing climate change.

—California Governor Schwarzenegger

The five states also have agreed to participate in a multi-state registry to track and manage greenhouse gas emissions in their region.

The Western Regional Climate Action Initiative builds on existing greenhouse gas reduction efforts in the individual states as well as two existing regional efforts. In 2003, California, Oregon and Washington created the West Coast Global Warming Initiative, and in 2006, Arizona and New Mexico launched the Southwest Climate Change Initiative.

During an address to the National Governors Association, the Governor also called on other states to adopt a low carbon fuel standard based upon the model being developed in California.

February 27, 2007 in Climate Change, Policy | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

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The envelop please. The winner for ghg standard is natural gas CCGT. Why do I keep getting the idea that politicos in the EU and the left coast are not really serious about reducing AGW.

I'm skeptical that a cap-and-trade system can even work, considering the failure of the European ETS. CO2 credit prices collapsed as low as .66 euro only recently, and their current pice is .98 euros.

I do not think that the value of CO2 credit would pay for processing the paperwork. NOx & SOx markets worked but since ghg is a global issue the market has to be global. The environment impact NOx & SOx was also easier to understand.

It is monkey motion folks, only by shifting energy production from fossil fuel to nuclear and renewables will we reduce our GHG emissions. Conservation will be overwhelmed by population growth due to the invasion from the south. Like the CAFE standards, which have allowed our fuel economy to steadily decrease since 1986, these MOU are no better than the Exxon Valdez spill plan, put in place to placate. Liberal fixes are alway phoney.

If more states are willing to join regional greenhouse gas initiatives, you'll soon have more congressmen willing to put together a national plan. More nations putting together national plans, and we're working toward a global plan.

It's not going to happen all at once, and it's not going to happen overnight.

These five governors aren't claiming they've solved global warming, so quit reacting with the high and mighty attitude. It's progress, and it puts those states (along with the RGGI states in the Northeast) in the position of working to make things better. It gives other states the signal that they can join too. It gives national politicians the message that they've got support from some of the states.

There are now 14 states representing just under 50% of the population committed to working together to reduce greenhouse gases. It's progress.

If you live in a state not covered, I suggest you write your governor and legislators and encourage them to join (or form) a regional initiative. Or, you could just bitch and moan here. Whatever.

Hi George, liberal fixes are alway phoney, they are simply propaganda to wrestle an ever growning level of control over our lives. A means to a communist end.

The liberals are the ones proposing conservation, as if shoveling sand against the tide will accomplish anything. Gore's energy consuption is outlandishly high, yet he attempts to justify it with razzle dazzle. It is ok for him to squander, because others cannot afford to squander. Typical liberal special privedge thinking.

These Exxon Valdez like efforts simply placate real conservationists. Libs are blocking building nuclear generation by litigation over spent fuel storage. This causes us to increase our GHG emissions. Why are we not building Lithium Ion battery production facilites in the USA? NIMBYs! Who is blocking the wind farms? NIMBYs. So just who is helping the terriorists? NIMBYs. Liberal NIMBYs. Who blocked the wind farm in Mass. Liberal NIMBYs.

Technically we could build Plug-in Hybrids right now, with range extender diesels that run on biodiesel. Thus we could right now end our dependence on foreign oil, but how many billions, with a B, will the liberals put in the budget? Chicken feed! So the key to the war on terror, defunding, is being opposed by the very folks who claim to care about helping make the earth a better place for the future.

Stormy, we already have a very good global plan to work with Pacific Rim countries that include the 5 largest producers of coal.

I have reviewed the plans of California, Washington, and Oregon for reducing ghg. They are a joke. Relying of CCGT for new generation will significantly increase ghg. LIFE CYCLE ghg for CCGTs is about 700 kg/MW-hr and coal is at 1000 kg/MW-hr. State of the art solar, nuke, and wind is under under 20 kg/MW-hr (about an order of magnitude below a decade ago).

The states are not working together they are pointing fingers at the national policy. I have a particular grudge against Richardson until he stands up as says his work as Secretary of Energy under Clinton was misguided. I consider his actions during the 2000/2001 California energy crisis criminal. He and former Governor Davis belonged in the same court room with ENRON executive.

The problem was not that we have CAFE standards, but that we allowed loopholes for SUVs and we quit increasing the standards starting in the 80s. In the early years, the increase in gas mileage was significant but we allowed our greed for big vehicles and high performance to cancel out increases in efficiency.

Before you start bashing liberals, check out what Bush has done to the alternative energy budget over the years. The last time I checked the conservatives have been fully in control of both houses of congress and the presidency the last several years.

As for the so called liberals, it is a bit premature to be bashing them with regard to what they may or may not put in the budget.

But here is where we have a convergence. Both liberal and conservative politicians will mostly be pushing alternatives like ethanol without enough emphasis on conservation and efficiency. Ethanol, if one stipulates that it has a positive ethanol (which is not completely settled) cannot solve our transportation related GHG problems alone, not by a long shot. Regardless of the fuel used, including electricity, there must be a focus on effiency with cars sized appropriately for the task. To continue business as usual with bigger and bigger vehicles (shame on Toyota for the Tundra) will not be adequate to decrease GHG emissions sufficiently.

I agree, the CAFE standards were a joke, that pretended to do something but did nothing. Whose plan was it?

I was not bashing liberals because I like Bush, but because of actions like the 5 state plan are phoney razzel dazzel. Lets open Yucca Mountain. Who is blocking it? Playing checkers with GHG credits is monkey motion. Lets build wind farms, nuclear plants and battery production plants.

The Fool Cell is another placate strategy. First princles may not be popular, but if we do not stick to the truth, we are doomed.

Kit P:

I'm not claiming the proposed plan will solve anything -- but clearly 700 is better than 1000, and it opens the door to improving standards even more. Furthermore, as demand for natural gas continues to increase, the fuel costs for CCGT will go up, and you may see shifts to cheaper electricity sources which don't violate the pact... more wind, solar, et al.

So, my feeling is that the West Coast plan (and RGGI on the East Coast) are better than the status quo from the other 36 states, and better than what we're seeing federally. It's better. Not best, not even great, but better. Why not work to continue to make better, either by broadening the plan to more states or to deepen it with tighter expectations? It sure seems better than just sitting back and (fl|b)laming the liberals as our dear friend Van does.

Lets open Yucca Mountain.

Why? It's unnecessary and more expensive than the simpler alternative of just storing the stuff on the surface in dry casks.

The problem with cafe was that because of how it was set up it HAD to have loopholes in it out the wazzo. BOTH sides put in loopholes to cushion its effect on thier campain moola machines.

Also one reason early on they wanted to guve a credit for work syvs is that oddly enough they were far more fuel eff then the work vehicles people were driving around at the time. Remember at that timemany companies had thier work trucks being driven home by thier workers and these weree HEAVY trucks with horrid milage.

If you think an suv is nurder think what a tank made of plate steel and using a 12 luter engine manages.

Don't worry, it is normal to shoot the messenger when our alternate realities are crushed in the light of truth. All these liberal programs accomplish nothing, then when hard science moves us forward, the liberals take credit.

Why open Yucca Mountain? Do you really want to curtail the CO2 emitted from the coal fired electrical generating units by replacing them with Nuclear? If so, open Yucca Mountain. Until it opens, nobody is going to build anymore nukes in the USA, and our GHG emissions will do whatever harm they do. I think enough evidence is in to say we should shift off of burning fossil fuel.

As far as blaming conservatives for the CAFE loopholes, that observation is valid, the regulation enlarged the purview of the government and accomplished nothing but to pretend to make an effort at curtailing our dependence on foreign oil. But it was like shoveling sand against the tide, we use more foreign oil now than then. Truth is like diamond, its hard and cutting, but it looks good and lasts a long time.

Stomy, the West Coast plan is the status quo. Dressing a pig in a tutu does not make it a ballerina no matter how many press releases you have. Old ideas that do not work are worse than doing nothing. The federal road map to reduce ghg contains many new ideas and old ones that work.

Status quo for Arizona and New Mexico, or status quo for CA?

I've yet to see any solid evidence that well executed cap and trade programs don't work. To be sure, some proposed and implemented programs have problems -- but I think that those problems can be overcome.

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