In his final State of the State address (viewed by many analysts as a first step in a campaign for the Presidency) to the opening of the 2006 Legislative Session, New York Governor Pataki provided a preview of his coming legislative initiatives for his final year in office.
For the transportation and energy sectors, Pataki said he will propose a series of programs and initiatives, including:
Spurring the development of plug-in hybrids that use biofuels in the engine (e.g., flex-fuel plug-ins);
Making the entire state a tax-free zone for companies that develop clean, renewable energy sources;
Making renewable fuels available at service stations all across the State, starting with the Thruway;
Making renewable fuels used in automobiles tax-free throughout the entire State;
Establishing ethanol plants;
Creating shovel-ready sites and helping to finance advanced clean coal power plants.
For more than a decade, we in New York have been aggressively pursuing the solutions to one of our generation’s greatest challenges—reducing our dependence on expensive, polluting, terror-promoting foreign oil.
...We cannot address the issue of oil dependency without talking about transportation.
Our transportation system is still over 90 percent dependent on petroleum products. The huge price increases we have seen at the pump are likely to get worse as developing countries like China and India consume an increasing amount of oil.—Gov. Pataki
Pataki originated the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first regional, mandatory cap-and-trade program to control carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Participants include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.
Beginning in 2009, RGGI will stabilize carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the region at current levels through 2015, and reduce emissions by 10% from current levels by 2019. RGGI also aims to achieve reductions through energy efficiency and through greenhouse gas emission reduction projects outside of the power sector.