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Delaware agrees to more aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals

Delaware Public Media
Gov. John Carney

Delaware and eight other states in the Northeast have agreed to take a bigger bite out of their greenhouse gas emissions.

The First State and its partners in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) announced earlier this week they’re proposing to cut emissions from power plants in their states by 2030.

The proposed 30 percent cut would be in addition to greenhouse gas reductions the state has already achieved.The states involved are driving down discharges by selling “allowances” to power generators. They then use the money to invest in renewable energy and energy-efficiency measures.

Gov. John Carney said the state’s power plants have lowered greenhouse gas discharges by using natural gas-fired plants instead of coal.

“In that conversion, you reduce your carbon emissions by about 40 percent," he said. "So natural gas generation is about 40 percent more efficient with respect to carbon emissions than coal.”

Carney says the lower emissions goal will help Delaware fulfill its commitment to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which the state signed on to in June.

Gov. John Carney says RGGI is poised to expand to other states, which would spur them to also cut emissions.

“Some of the largest polluters as it relates to carbon emissions, they’re coming from the Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio part of the grid and having some incentives - they’re not necessarily in RGGI - but if we had a system where they would be in RGGI, there would be incentives for them to make those changes and upgrades,” he said.

Delaware is joined in RGGI by eight other states including Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

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