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Five western governors sign agreement to reduce greenhouse gases
Joe Shaulis at 9:09 PM ET

[JURIST] The governors of five western US states signed an agreement Monday to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases [JURIST news archive], a cause of global warming [EPA climate change materials]. During the winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA) [official website], the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington [JURIST news archives] signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative [agreement text], which calls for the states to set reduction goals within six months, devise a “market-based program” to reach those goals and track emissions through a regional registry. “In the absence of meaningful federal action, it is up to the states … to address climate change,” Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) [official profile] said in a press release [text]. The market-based program could take the form of a cap-and-trade system, in which companies whose emissions exceed mandatory limits could buy credits from companies that produce less pollution. A regional cap and trade program would be a powerful first step toward developing a national program, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) [official profile], the only Republican among the five governors, said in an address to the NGA [press release]. Statements were also issued by Govs. Bill Richardson (D-NM), Ted Kulongoski (D-OR) and Christine Gregoire (D-WA) [press releases]. AP has more. Gannett News Service has additional coverage.

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