On December 30, 2009, citing the contribution of fuel use to climate change risks, the governors of 11 northeastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) took a first step toward a regional low-carbon fuel standard. The 10 state members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, plus Pennsylvania, signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing their states to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels, including transportation fuels and, potentially, fuel oil used for heating.

The states committed to assess the feasibility of a range of reduction goals by early 2011, including a 10 percent cut in fuel carbon intensity and development of a framework for a regional low-carbon fuel standard to ensure sustainable use of renewable fuels. The framework will also determine the best methods for creating and trading emission credits for the sale of low-carbon fuel. The group intends ultimately to develop a model rule for enforcing the standard, which individual states may adopt through administrative or legislative means.