The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory U.S. cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide. RGGI sets a cap on emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants, and allows sources to trade emissions allowances. The program began by capping emissions at current levels in 2009, and aims to reduce emissions by 10% by 2018.
RGGI was established in December 2005 by the governors of seven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Massachusetts and Rhode Island both joined RGGI in early 2007, and Maryland joined in April 2007. New Jersey is no longer participating in the cap-and-trade program.
RGGI member states began a 2-year Program Review  process in September 2010 to determine how the cap-and-trade program might be strengthened. After a series of stakeholder meetings, RGGI member states released an updated Model Rule  to replace the original version that had been finalized in 2006. The updated Model Rule must be formally adopted by participating states through their required legislative and regulatory processes before it will have an effect.
Recent Updates 
February 7, 2013: RGGI member states release an updated Model Rule .
Novemer 19, 2012: RGGI member states announce the benefits of cap-and-trade revenue investments  between 2009 and 2011.
May 26, 2011: Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey announces that his state will exit RGGI's cap-and-trade program as of January 1, 2012.
September 13, 2010: RGGI member states begin a 2-year Program Review  process to assess the success of cap and trade and recommend changes.
March 18, 2009: RGGI member states conduct third allowance auction .
December 31, 2008: RGGI member states and RGGI observer Pennsylvania sign a Letter of Intent to develop a Low Carbon Fuel Standard .
December 17, 2008: RGGI member states conduct second allowance auction .
September 25, 2008: RGGI member states conduct initial allowance auction .
July 24, 2008: RGGI releases materials  for initial allowance auction.
April 20, 2007: Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland commits his state to join RGGI, bringing the total number of participating states to ten.
January 30, 2007: Governor Donald Carcieri announces that Rhode Island will join RGGI.
January 18, 2007: Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts commits his state to join RGGI, making Massachusetts the eighth member state.
August 15, 2006: The seven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) release the final model rule  for the program. The model rule provides a set of regulations for the structure and function of RGGI. Each state that intends to participate in RGGI must adopt this rule through legislation or regulation.
March 23, 2006: The seven RGGI states release the draft model rule , which, once finalized, will form the basis of state regulations to implement RGGI. The public is invited to comment on the draft model rule for 60 days, until May 22, 2006.
December 20, 2005: The governors of seven Northeastern states announce the creation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont sign a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to implement the first mandatory U.S. cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide. RGGI sets a cap on emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants, and allows sources to trade emissions allowances. The program will begin by capping emissions at current levels in 2009, and then reducing emissions 10% by 2019.
Report  Highlights Benefits of RGGI CO2 Auction Investments (2/28/11)
RGGI-focused Presentations from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and the Georgetown Climate Center’s 2011 State and Federal Climate and Energy Policy Workshop
Allowance distribution summary chart  (Updated December 2011)
RGGI Fact Sheets 
On the September 2008 RGGI Auction
Statement from Eileen Claussen on September 2008 RGGI Auction 
Judi Greenwald discusses the significance of the RGGI's first auction  of emissions allowances on NPR's The Kojo Nnamdi Show. (September 24, 2008)
Find out what's being done in other states  to combat climate change.