Ten Midwestern Leaders to Sign Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord

Press Release

Date: Nov. 14, 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI


Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Iowa Governor Chester Culver, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, South Dakota Governor Michael Rounds, and Manitoba Premier Gary Doer tomorrow (November 15) will sign the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord.

The historic agreement, to be signed at the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) Energy Security and Climate Change Summit held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will serve as a regional strategy to achieve energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The summit is co-hosted by National Governors Association Chair Governor Pawlenty and MGA Chair Governor Doyle.

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.

"Today's agreement is an important milestone toward achieving a cleaner, more secure energy future," Governor Pawlenty said. "The Midwest is well-positioned to help lead the energy revolution that our nation needs to stay competitive and strong. Working together, states can build a de facto national energy policy that will create good jobs and build a cleaner and safer world."

Within the next year, governors and other participating jurisdictional leaders will establish targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and complete development of proposed 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.

As Chair of the National Governors Association, Governor Pawlenty is leading a year-long initiative, "Securing a Clean Energy Future," which focuses on energy conservation, biofuels, reducing pollution and greenhouse gases, and accelerating clean energy technology. More information on the initiative is available online at http://www.subnet.nga.org/ci/scef/.

Minnesota has led the nation in developing and implementing innovative energy policies. In February 2007, Governor Pawlenty signed into law a "25 by ‘25" renewable energy standard. In May 2007, the Governor signed legislation that shifts the focus of the state's Conservation Improvement Program from a spending requirement to an energy savings goal and sets aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The state was also the first in the nation to require ethanol in its gasoline.

The Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord builds on existing greenhouse gas reduction efforts in each state as well as three existing regional efforts. In 2003, California, Oregon, and Washington created the West Coast Global Warming Initiative; in 2006, Arizona and New Mexico launched the Southwest Climate Change Initiative; and in February of 2007, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington launched the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative.

For more information, go to: http://www.midwesterngovernors.org/energysummit.htm