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For Release: Wednesday, April 29, 2020

DEC and NYSERDA Release Proposal to Reduce New York's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Emissions Cap by 30 Percent

Lower Cap Will Ensure Regional Emissions are 65 Percent Below Baseline in 2030

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today released proposed regulations to strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's first regional program to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. The revised regulations would advance New York's portion of the 30 percent regional cap reduction from 2021 to 2030, ensuring that regional emissions are 65 percent below the starting cap level by 2030. These emissions reductions support Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's nation-leading requirements under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050. The proposed regulations would fulfill the Governor's January 2017 State of the State challenge to the RGGI states to further strengthen the RGGI program, which yields environmental, health, and economic benefits. With this program update, the regional cap in 2030 will be 65 percent below the 2009 starting level.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Strengthening New York's RGGI regulations will help achieve Governor Cuomo's ambitious emissions reduction and clean energy efforts. In the continued dereliction of federal leadership to reduce the pollution that is changing our climate and impacting the health of our people, the RGGI program demonstrates how states can work together to respond to the climate crisis in a way that advances our economies."

Alicia Barton, President and CEO NYSERDA said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is leading the nation to aggressively and proactively address climate change by reducing carbon emissions and spurring a clean energy economy. Continuing to set and meet ambitious carbon mitigation goals proves, once again, that our state is a leader in environmental stewardship and I am eager to work with our fellow agencies and states to combat climate change with decisive action."

In addition, New York is going beyond many of its RGGI partner states by adding smaller peaking power plants that each have a capacity of less than 25 megawatts of power to the program. This change recognizes that most of these smaller sources are located in proximity to New York's Environmental Justice communities, which include communities of color and low-income communities that bear an undue and historic burden of air pollution.

Another key proposed change to the RGGI program is the creation of the Emissions Containment Reserve (ECR), a new feature designed to ensure additional carbon dioxide emissions reductions ​by auctioning fewer allowances in the event the cost of such reductions is less than anticipated. The proposed regulations also simplify the program and ensure that reductions from power plants continue by removing all offset categories except for emissions from livestock operations.

In addition, proposed revisions to NYSERDA's regulations advance that investment of proceeds from allowance auctions provide equitable benefits to disadvantaged communities, in accordance with the CLCPA. NYSERDA's proposed regulations will be published in the State Register on May 13, 2020, opening a public comment period that closes on July 13, 2020.

DEC's proposed regulations (Part 242) were published in the State Register on April 29, opening a public comment period that closes on June 29, 2020. In accordance with ​Governor Cuomo's Executive Order regarding the temporary suspension of public hearings to limit the community spread of COVID-19, DEC will not hold a public hearing.

The CLCPA requires the State to achieve a carbon-free electricity system by 2040, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, setting a new standard for states and the nation to expedite the transition to a clean energy economy. The new law will drive investment in clean energy solutions such as wind, solar, energy efficiency and energy storage. Importantly, implementation of the CLCPA will target investments to benefit disadvantaged communities, create tens of thousands of new jobs, improve public health and quality of life and provide all New Yorkers with more robust clean energy choices.

For more information about the CLCPA and the Climate Action Council, visit

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