Â The Midwest Govenors Association met to discuss greenhouse gas emissions and reductions. They came up with the Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform and Greenhouse Gas Accord. Govenors from all states in the Midwest signed this accord, except North Dakota Governor, John Hoeven, who was not in attendance. Read the article below for more information; write to our Govenor and ask him to sign the agreement!
PRIMER: Midwestern Governors Association's Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform and Greenhouse Gas Accord
In November 2007, the members of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) signed landmark agreements that put our region on the path toward realizing a clean energy system.
Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform
MGA goal: Meet at least 2 percent of regional annual retail sales of natural gas and electricity through efficiency by 2015 and each year thereafter.
Energy efficiency is an energy resource, just like wind or coal. Imagine tracking energy production and use throughout the Midwest. Energy that is not used in Minneapolis is energy available for use in Omaha. The cost of that currently available energy is much smaller than new energy produced by a wind turbine or coal plant.
This goal is not sector-specific; it can be met by innovative policies and programs such as utility efficiency requirements (such as the 2007 Demand Efficiency Act), building codes and appliance standards, and energy-use reduction goals for state and federal buildings.
MGA goals: Increase availability of low-carbon fuels ten-fold by 2025; reduce fossil fuel inputs to biofuels by half; meet half of the region's transportation demand with biofuels and other low-carbon fuels.
The transportation sector is responsible for approximately one-third of America's global warming pollution. These goals pump up the Midwest's capacity for production of cleaner transportation fuels, effectively cutting CO2 emissions. It's important to note that a specific objective of this agreement is to reduce "fossil fuel inputs" in biofuels production, which necessitates attention to the entire process-from production to use. The governors also strive to increase the biofuels supply while "improving water quality, soil quality and wildlife habitat."
MGA goal: Produce 30 percent of the region's electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This goal will require developing many new power projects-wind, biomass, solar-to meet our growing electricity needs.
The objectives with this goal include creating more green collar jobs in the Midwest and keeping the profits at home by expanding the region's production of energy technologies like solar power equipment and wind turbines, towers, and blades.
In addition, the governors recognize the need for a "stable regulatory environment for renewable energy development." The governors have also committed to pursue a multi-state transmission initiative to facilitate delivery of a large amount of renewable electricity.
MGA goal: Demonstrate integrated gasification-combined cycle (IGCC) with both eastern and western coals by 2015. By 2020, all new coal plants have carbon capture and storage (CCS). By 2050, the entire coal fleet has CSS.
An IGCC power plant is one that turns coal into a gas, then removes impurities from the gas before it is combusted. This results in lower emissions of sulfur dioxide, particulates, and mercury, and it's also more efficient compared to conventional coal.
IGCC alone, however, doesn't lower carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant. That's why combining it with CCS is so important. CCS is a mechanism for capturing the carbon dioxide pollution and storing it instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. Technologies for CCS are not yet online for large-scale power plants.
Midwest governors agreed on a regional strategy to achieve energy security and reductions in global warming pollution..
This agreement establishes a region-wide program to reduce global warming emissions in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Manitoba. The Accord will
* establish global warming pollution reduction targets and timeframes
* develop a market-based and multi-sector cap-and-trade program
* establish a system for tracking, management, and crediting for participating entities
* develop and implement additional steps to meet the targets
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