Statement on the Settlement of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Lawsuit
December 23, 2009
"The settlement reached on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative allows New York State to move forward with the critical work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while building the clean energy economy Governor Paterson has envisioned for New York's future. The settlement leaves intact the mechanisms to achieve every critical goal of this program. We look forward to finalizing the settlement following public comment and, with Governor Paterson's leadership, embarking on a new era of environmental protection for the State of New York and for the world.” Details Under the settlement:
- Indeck, will withdraw the lawsuit. The settlement also resolves the claims of Selkirk Cogen Partners and Brooklyn Navy Yard Cogeneration Partners (BNYCP).
- Con Edison will pay Indeck and the other power producers in the lawsuit for the amount of pollution allowances that they do not receive directly from DEC from a pool of allowances that were set aside under the regulations for qualifying power generators bound by long-term contracts.
- NYSERDA will allot a portion of the RGGI proceeds to offset Con Edison’s costs.
Key Outcomes of the Settlement
The settlement will allow the RGGI program to continue, which will result in continued reduction in global warming pollution by allowing NYSERDA to move forward with the investing of RGGI proceeds for energy efficiency and renewable technologies
- The settlement is designed to be ratepayer neutral. For every dollar spent by Con Edison to purchase allowances, NYSERDA will match those dollars for investments by Con Edison in Smart Grid technologies and/or other system infrastructure improvements. These investments of approximately $2.6 million per year from 2009 through 2011 will offset any costs to customers.
- The settlement maintains both the number of set-aside allowances and the size of the emissions cap. Under the settlement, the number of allowances directly allocated by DEC for free to power generators with long-term fixed price contracts will remain at 1.5 million tons and the emissions cap will remain unchanged. As such, the settlement does not increase global warming pollution, and ensures that under RGGI, unlike other cap and trade proposals, nearly all pollution allowances are auctioned off in a market-based system, rather than given away for free.
Although not mandated by law to do so, the state is soliciting public comment on the settlement document. Public comments will be collected by the Attorney General's office, reviewed, and summarized for the court as part of the court approval process. If public comments reveal issues that necessitate revision of the settlement, the parties will discuss revising the Consent Decree accordingly. We expect that the 30-day comment period will commence on 12/30/09, the day that the proposed settlement is published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin
- RGGI, a 10-state agreement (www.rggi.org), calls for states to cap power sector carbon dioxide emissions through 2014, then reduce emissions by 2.5 percent per year for the next four years – resulting in a 10 percent reduction by 2018.
- Unlike other cap-and-trade systems, RGGI calls for almost all pollution allowances to be auctioned off in a market system, rather than given away for free.
The 10 RGGI states have raised a total of $494.4 million since the first RGGI auction in September 2008. New York’s share is approximately $180.7 million.Consent Decree
Notice of Lodging of Consent Decree Pertaining to New York’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Regulations
Jeffrey Gordon, NYSERDA
(518) 862-1090, ext. 3544
Yancey Roy, DEC
James Denn, DPS
Last Updated: 11/26/2012