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Governors Sign GHG Accord, Ready TV Campaign

Nine Midwestern governors and the premier of Manitoba have signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. The agreement, signed at the Midwestern Governors Association Energy Security and Climate Change Summit held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will serve as a regional energy strategy.

Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Governor Chester J. Culver of Iowa, Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, Governor M. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, and Premier Gary Doer of Manitoba signed the accord.

This is not the first regional agreement to cap greenhouse gases. In August, six Western states and two Canadian provinces pledged to work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020
Beginning Monday, three Western governors will appear in a nationwide television advertising campaign sponsored by Environmental Defense that will try and raise support for climate change legislation now before the Senate, The New York Times reports. The 30-second ad features Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican of California; Jon Huntsman Jr., Republican of Utah; and Brian Schweitzer, Democrat of Montana.

The Midwestern accord signed this week aims to 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.

Within the next year, targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and complete development of a proposed cap-and-trade system will be established. Indiana, Ohio, and South Dakota are signing the agreement as observers to participate in the formation of the regional cap-and-trade system. Targets will be consistent with the 60 to 80 percent recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 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 (PDF). 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.

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