Governors from across the Midwest signed on to an energy pact Wednesday in Milwaukee as part of a regional summit on energy and climate change hosted by the Midwestern Governors Association. Indiana has signed on to the pact, called the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, but only as an observer.
The accord is being spearheaded by Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. Doyle’s spokesperson Matt Canter says Indiana joins Ohio and North Dakota in hesitating to sign the agreement outright.
Canter says the primary goal of the agreement is to establish a regional emissions cap-and-trade system that promotes renewable energy, but the accord includes other benchmarks. Signatories are pledging to reduce energy consumption by 2 percent by the year 2015, followed by 2 percent annual reductions thereafter, and to offer E85 ethanol gasoline at 15% of gas stations.
The Midwest has 22% of the nation’s population but produces more than 27% of its greenhouse gas emissions. This is mostly because of the region’s reliance on coal-fired power plants for electricity.