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NY Plan Caps Power Plant Emissions, Auctions Pollution Credits

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has unveiled regulations designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from New York power plants by 10 percent over the next 12 years, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports. They are to take effect early next year after a series of public hearings

New York is part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a group of 10 Northeast states that have banded together to try to reduce the greenhouse gases.

The regulations call for current emissions from plants to be capped for the next six years, even as demand for electricity increases. Power companies will have to purchase allowances to emit carbon dioxide. New York will spend the money on energy-saving projects.

Uunlike the cap-and-trade program that has combatted acid rain caused by other smokestack emissions, the greenhouse gas initiative won’t give away credits to power plants, The Houston Chronicle reports. New York wants to be the first state to auction all of its pollution credits, which Spitzer said other states are expected to adopt. Maine and Massachusetts also plan to auction off all their credits.

Gavin Donohue, the head of the state’s Independent Power Producers Association said the regulations are sure to lead to higher costs. Last Year, IPPNY called a pre-proposal of the plan “myopic.”

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