Cuomo moves to join efforts at cutting CO2 cap

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As part of a nine-state initiative to lower power plant emissions, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he plans to reduce carbon dioxide allowances by 2014.

New York, along with mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states, are members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, which auctions rights to carbon dioxide emissions to power plants and invests the proceeds in clean-

energy technology.

In February the group agreed to reduce the total emissions allowed by about 45 percent to 91 million tons of carbon dioxide, down from 165 million, beginning in 2014.

The cap will be reduced again in 2020 to 78 million tons annually.

The move is to comply with the RGGI limit.

"With the goal of lowering the emissions cap, New York is taking a decisive step to reduce pollution and better protect the environment," Cuomo said in a news release Friday.

David VanLuven, policy director at Environmental Advocates of New York, welcomed the move.

"[Cuomo's] introduction of rules to reduce power plant emissions and to invest in clean, renewable energy is important as we work to ensure New York remains a responsible leader for our environment and economy in the years ahead," he said in a news release.

A hearing in Long Island City will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 29 at DEC's Region 2 office, located at 1 Hunters Point Plaza, 47-40 21 St., Room 834.

Comments are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 9 and can be mailed to Michael P. Sheehan, NYS DEC -- Division of Air Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3251. Comments can also be called in at 518-402-8396 or sent by email to 242co2btp@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

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