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ACT NO. 123


Conservation; regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

This act builds upon a memorandum of understanding entered by the governor agreeing to the state's participation with at least six other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Under the program, the agency of natural resources and the public service board will establish a carbon cap and trade program that will limit and then reduce the total carbon emissions released by major electric generating stations that provide electric power in the state and that will allow the holders of carbon credits to trade them in a regional market. The act requires the agency of natural resources to establish by rule a set of annual carbon budgets for emissions associated with the electric power sector, and it requires the public service board to establish a process to allocate 100 percent of the Vermont statewide budget of tradable power sector carbon credits and the proceeds from the sale of those credits through allocation to one or more trustees acting on behalf of consumers. The act establishes goals to be accomplished in the allocation plan, which are to include the following: minimizing windfall financial gains to power generators because of the cap and trade program; enabling program managers to hold, bank, and sell carbon credits; optimizing revenues for the benefit of Vermont electric customers and the Vermont economy; building upon existing programs that lower power costs, improve efficiency, and lower the carbon profile of the state's power supply while minimizing adverse effects on system reliability and unnecessary costs to power consumers; and supporting efforts to stimulate investment in the development of innovative power sector carbon emissions abatement technologies that have significant carbon reduction potential. The act requires that by January 15 of each year, the department of public service in consultation with the agency of natural resources and the public service board shall report to specified legislative committees detailing the implementation and operation of RGGI and revenues collected and expenditures made, together with recommended principles to be followed in the allocation of funds.

Effective Date: July 1, 2006

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont