DEEP: Governor Rell: Connecticut Joins 10 Other States to Develop New Fuel Options for Future

January 4, 2010

Governor Rell: Connecticut Joins 10 Other States to Develop New Fuel Options for Future

Effort Aimed at Reducing Greenhouse Gases, Fostering Clean Energy Technologies

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has signed an agreement with 10 other states to develop regional, lower-carbon alternatives to current fuels for motor vehicles. The joint effort will promote fuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce exposure to gasoline price spikes, foster energy independence and create new jobs through clean energy technologies.

Connecticut and the 10 other states signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to analyze low-carbon fuel supply options, determine the feasibility of achieving a range of carbon reduction goals – including a 10 percent reduction in carbon intensity of fuels – and develop a framework for a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in order to ensure sustainable use of renewable fuels in the region.

Signing the agreement were Governors from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. The signatories include the 10 member states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), plus Pennsylvania. Under Governor Rell’s leadership, Connecticut was one of the first states to join the RGGI, which sets a cap on the amount of carbon dioxide power plants can emit and creates a "cap-and-trade" program to allow power- generating companies and others to buy "allowances" to cover the emissions.

"This agreement puts the participating Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states on the low-carbon road to the future," Governor Rell said. "These 11 states will create a larger market for cleaner fuels, which could help drive down prices when compared to the costs of ‘boutique’ markets created when states act independently. It will also reduce emissions associated with climate change. This is a logical next step in our work to protect the future of this planet for our children and grandchildren.

"We are also doing this in a way that takes into account the costs and other economic implications of the changes that need to be made," the Governor said. "The states are committed to including strong business, energy and environmental stakeholder involvement in the process by providing opportunities for input and review of any proposed LCFS program."

The states will jointly develop a framework leading to a standard for the amount of carbon in motor fuels that could be extended to cover fuels used to heat homes and buildings. Studies have shown that a regional LCFS has the potential to significantly reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, which represent approximately 30 percent of emissions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

"This agreement is also a logical extension of Connecticut’s Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Council, which I created this fall to prepare us for a transition toward electric-powered vehicles," Governor Rell noted.

Governor Rell established the Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Council through Executive Order No. 34, issued Nov. 12, 2009. The council is charged with preparing the state for a rapid and seamless integration of electric vehicles into the market.

For more information on the LCFS, see: http://www.nescaum.org/topics/low-carbon-fuels