Greenhouse Gas Reduction Agreement Signed

MILWAUKEE – Ten Midwestern leaders – Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Governor Chester J. Culver of Iowa, Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, Governor M. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, and Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba – today signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord.

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; and

· 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.

“This is a momentous day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” said Governor Doyle, chair of the MGA. "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. 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, 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 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:

CO2 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; and
Low-carbon energy transmission infrastructure that will provide a cost-effective way to supply the Midwest with sustainable and environmentally responsible energy.

Midwestern states are leading the nation in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. The Midwest boasts world-class renewable energy resources that support rapidly growing wind energy, corn ethanol, and biodiesel industries, and has the potential for robust cellulosic biomass and solar industries.

In Wisconsin, Governor Doyle created the Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund – a new effort to invest nearly $150 million over the next 10 years in the production and promotion of renewable energy. Governor Doyle has also set an ambitious goal for the state, declaring that Wisconsin will get 25 percent of its electrical power and 25 percent of its transportation fuel from renewable resources by 2025.

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.

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