Governors Eye Carbon Cuts for Gas

Eleven governors in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are expanding on plans to reduce carbon levels in gasoline and heating oil while advancing efforts to cut overall carbon pollution and help fight global warming as part of a clean energy economy.

The governors of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont have signed a memorandum committing to the creation of a framework for regional low-carbon fuel standard by early next year, with the common goal of cutting "carbon intensity" by 10 percent.

"[The states] commit to evaluating a regional low carbon fuel program that will reduce the average carbon intensity of transportation and potentially heating fuels in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region," the memorandum said.

The program adds to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which requires hundreds of utilities in 10 Northeastern states to buy emissions permits matching their carbon pollution output. The fuel standards are intended to spur cleaner fuel and heating alternatives.

The memorandum also noted that "developing alternatives to our continued reliance on petroleum-based fuels will foster economic growth and enable increases in fuel security and reliability… [and] further, the development, commercialization and use of fuels that have a low carbon intensity can support the growth of jobs, businesses, and services in a clean energy economy."

Published: January 5, 2010