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Delaware Code Title 7. Conservation § 6043. Findings, purpose definitions

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(a) Findings. -- The General Assembly hereby makes the following findings concerning the development, utilization and control of the air resources of the State related to impacts of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions:

(1) There is growing scientific consensus that the increased anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are enhancing the natural greenhouse effect and causing changes in the Earth’s climate.

(2) Climate change poses serious potential risks to human health and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems globally, regionally and in the State.

(3) CO2 is an air contaminant as defined in § 6002 of this title.

(4) It is in the interest of the State to protect human health and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by taking actions to stabilize and to limit the CO2 contributions from the State.

(5) A CO2 reduction program focusing on fossil fuel-fired electricity generation, and the development of a CO2 allowance trading program, will create a strong incentive for the creation and deployment of more efficient fuel-burning technologies, renewable resources and end-use efficiency resources, which will lead to lower dependence on imported fossil fuels.

(6) Given the absence of federal action to protect the nation, a number of states, including Delaware, are taking actions regionally to reduce power sector CO2 emissions.

(7) The State of Delaware is a signatory state to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”), a cooperative effort on the part of mid-Atlantic and northeastern states to curtail CO2 emissions from power plants.

(8) The Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) signed by the Governors of participating RGGI states requires each participating state to promulgate regulations to establish a cap-and-trade program for CO2 with the goal of stabilizing CO2 emissions at current levels through 2015 and reducing by 10 percent such emissions by 2019.

(9) The MOU sets an initial emissions cap of 7,559,787 short tons of CO2 for Delaware and further requires a minimum of 25 percent of Delaware’s allocation of CO2 allowances under the cap-and-trade program to be used for public benefit purposes. The cap and Delaware’s allocation may be adjusted in the future.

(10) Implementation of a CO2 reduction program on a large scale, such as regionally, or nationally, is important so as to maximize our efficient use of energy and our contribution to lowering CO2 emissions while minimizing impacts on electric system reliability and unnecessary costs to Delaware power consumers. Further, costs of the CO2 cap and trade program are anticipated to be less burdensome if the program is implemented, to the extent possible and practicable, on a regional level.

(11) Pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 28 of the 144th General Assembly, a stakeholder workgroup was convened to study the RGGI MOU, analyze the actions of other RGGI states, and consider and recommend the best course of action for Delaware, noting particularly the quantity of CO2 allowances to be auctioned and the potential for the use of any revenue to further the goals of the Sustainable Energy Utility or such other goals the workgroup considered consistent with the RGGI MOU.

(b) Definitions. -- For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning set out herein.

(1) “CO2 allowance” shall mean a limited authorization to emit up to 1 ton of CO2.

(2) “Public benefit purpose” shall mean purposes including the promotion of energy efficiency, the mitigation of electricity ratepayer impacts attributable to RGGI, the promotion of distributed renewable or non-carbon-emitting energy technologies, the stimulation and reward of investment in the development of innovative carbon emissions abatement technologies with significant carbon reduction potential, and funding of the administration of the Program established by this chapter.

(3) “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative” or “RGGI” shall the mean Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as established by the MOU signed by Delaware and other states calling for the development of a program to reduce CO2 emissions from energy generating facilities utilizing fossil fuels.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 7. Conservation § 6043. Findings, purpose definitions - last updated January 01, 2022 |

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