Eleven states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions will join forces to develop a low carbon fuel standard to reduce vehicle-related greenhouse gas emissions.

The 11 states include Pennsylvania plus the 10 members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a coalition creating a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program for the power generation sector. The low carbon fuel standard will require a reduction in the average lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of useful energy, and may include advanced biofuels and electricity.

"After power generation, transportation is the next logical target for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and a Low Carbon Fuel Standard gives us a market-based mechanism to get the environmental results we need," Laurie Burt, Massachusetts’ Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, said in a statement.  

The states will work with the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, which is currently studying the potential of a low carbon fuel standard for the region, in the hopes of drafting a plan by late 2009. California is also working on the development of a low carbon fuel standard for motor vehicles.

The RGGI states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.