From today's New York Times:
Officials in New York and eight other Northeastern states have come to a preliminary agreement to freeze power plant emissions at their current levels and then reduce them by 10 percent by 2020, according to a confidential draft proposal.The nine states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The cooperative action, the first of its kind in the nation, came after the Bush administration decided not to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Once a final agreement is reached, the legislatures of the nine states will have to enact it, which is considered likely.
Enforcement of emission controls could potentially result in higher energy prices in the nine states, which officials hope can be offset by subsidies and support for the development of new technology that would be paid for with the proceeds from the sale of emission allowances to the utility companies.
Of critical concern to the nuclear energy industry, is the question of whether or not nuclear generating capacity -- especially new nuclear generating capacity -- will qualify as a non-emitting source of electricity under this agreement. Currently, nuclear accounts for 75 percent of the non-emitting electrical generating capacity in the U.S. Without nuclear energy, emissions of all types of pollutants would be far higher both in the Northeast and nationally.
For more on the efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the region, also known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI, click here and here.