Ten Midwestern Leaders Sign Greenhouse Gas Accord

On Nov. 15, 10 Midwestern leaders signed an agreement that will serve as a regional strategy to achieve energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord was signed at the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) Energy Security and Climate Change Summit by Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Gov. Chester J. Culver of Iowa, Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, Gov. M. Michael Rounds of South Dakota and Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba, Canada. The accord will:

  • Establish greenhouse gas reduction targets and timeframes consistent with MGA member states' targets.
  • Develop a market-based and multi-sector cap-and-trade mechanism to help achieve those reduction targets.
  • Establish a system to enable tracking, management and crediting for entities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Develop and implement additional steps as needed to achieve the reduction targets, such as a low-carbon fuel standards and regional incentives and funding mechanisms.

"Leaders from across the Midwest are charting a new energy direction for our citizens, our nation and our world, creating high-paying jobs for our citizens and building a cleaner and safer world for generations to come," Doyle said. "Our strong manufacturing base and rich agricultural industries, along with the wealth of resources in our vast northern forests and our world-leading research universities, position the Midwest to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy."

Within the next year, the governors and other participating jurisdictional leaders will establish targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and complete development of a proposed cap-and-trade system. Indiana, Ohio and South Dakota are signing the agreement as observers to participate in the formation of the regional cap-and-trade system. Targets will be consistent with the 60 percent to 80 percent recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Full implementation of the accord will be completed within 30 months.

As part of the summit, the Midwestern states, including Nebraska and North Dakota, also adopted an Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform. The platform establishes shared goals for the Midwest region, including specific timelines for the advance of energy efficiency, the promotion of biobased products, the production of renewable electricity and the development of advance coal and carbon capture and storage.

To support these shared goals, the Midwestern states launched new cooperative regional initiatives to address the following:

  • Carbon dioxide management to create a regional transportation and storage infrastructure.
  • A bioproduct procurement program to support the growth of the region's bioeconomy.
  • Electricity transmission adequacy to support thousands of new megawatts of wind energy.
  • Renewable fuels corridors and coordinated signage to promote renewable fuel usage across the Midwest.
  • Advanced bioenergy permitting to assist states with the latest technologies.
  • Low-carbon energy transmission infrastructure that will provide a cost-effective way to supply the Midwest with sustainable and environmentally responsible energy.

The Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord builds on existing greenhouse gas reduction efforts in each state as well as existing regional efforts. The new Midwest regional effort will include more states. Current emission levels in these states will require more aggressive efforts than in other regions.

For more information, including complete agreements, list of signatories, biographies of leaders, and background on the MGA, go to http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?locid=19&prid=3023.

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