Delaware joins 10 other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in pact to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels
DOVER – Gov. Jack Markell joined the governors of 10 other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states today in announcing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the states that underscores their commitment toward developing a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard in a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels for vehicles and other uses.
“We need to address the challenges we are facing with solutions that improve our environment and create jobs,” said Gov. Markell. “I am pleased that Delaware has again joined other states in addressing air quality and carbon emissions. This program will spark investment and innovation in alternative fuels and electric cars like those that Fisker Automotive plans to make in Wilmington.”
A Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program is a market-based, fuel-neutral program that would apply to the transportation sector, and potentially apply to fuels used for heating buildings. A regional standard is expected to spur economic growth related to development of advanced technologies and green energy jobs. A low carbon standard also has the potential to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, which represent approximately 30 percent of emissions in the region; reduce regional vulnerability to petroleum price volatility; and facilitate the long-term transition from petroleum-based fuels in the transportation sector.
“Transportation fuels account for a significant portion of Delaware’s air pollution and 25 percent of our state’s and our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions,” said Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara. “A low carbon fuel standard is an innovative market-based approach that will find low-cost solutions to lowering carbon emissions and spurring local investments, and we’re pleased to be working once again on a regional level to address this important issue.”
Signing the Memorandum of Understanding along with Gov. Markell were: Gov. Jodi Rell of Connecticut, Gov. John Baldacci of Maine, Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire, Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, Gov. David Paterson of New York, Gov. Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania, Gov. Donald Carcieri of Rhode Island and Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the states agree to analyze low carbon fuel supply options, determine the feasibility of achieving a range of reduction goals, including a 10-percent reduction in carbon intensity of fuels, and develop a framework for a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard to ensure sustainable use of renewable fuels in the region. The Memorandum of Understanding also calls for a study to examine the potential economic impacts of any program moving forward.
The states have already demonstrated the success of regional emissions reduction programs with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which covers greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. A regional program to address transportation and other fuels is considered prudent and efficient among the signatories given the interconnected nature of the fuel distribution system in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
More information on the LCFS work in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region is available at: http://www.nescaum.org/topics/low-carbon-fuels