U.S. States & Regions
States and regions across the country are adopting climate policies, including the development of regional greenhouse gas reduction markets, the creation of state and local climate action and adaptation plans, and increasing renewable energy generation. Read More
On December 19, 2007, United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson announced his agency had denied California’s request for a waiver that would allow the state to implement its greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles. In explaining his decision, Johnson argued that recently enacted federal energy legislation establishes national vehicle efficiency standards of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, and that this unified standard is preferable to a state-by-state approach. Johnson also said that in making its request, California failed to demonstrate the waiver was required to meet “compelling and extraordinary conditions” within the state, given the global nature of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Governor Schwarzenegger of California responded to the EPA’s decision by saying California’s standards are still necessary because the new federal requirements do not go far enough in addressing greenhouse gas emissions. On January 2, 2008, California filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA's decision.
California’s proposed standards would be gradually phased in between model-years 2009 and 2016, and by model-year 2016, would require reductions of tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles of approximately 30 percent. California and 16 other states are poised to adopt the standards. However, before these states can act, the federal EPA must grant California’s waiver request.
Johnson’s decision comes in the wake of two court rulings that supported implementation of the standards. On December 12, 2007, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Ishii ruled against a group of automobile manufacturers challenging California’s authority to set and implement greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles. A similar ruling was issued earlier in the year in Vermont against automobile industry plaintiffs challenging that state’s authority to adopt the California standards.
Creating Power, Technology, and Products: The Role of Coal Gasification in Ohio’s Economy and Energy Future
Prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change by Kleinhenz & Associates of Cleveland, Ohio
Read the companion study "The Role of CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery in Ohio's Economy and Energy Future"
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change commissioned Kleinhenz and Associates to examine how coal gasification (CG) combined with Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technology could play a role in Ohio’s economy and energy future – particularly in Northeast Ohio, a major center of manufacturing in the U.S. This working paper focuses primarily on opportunities for gasification projects to augment Ohio’s economy. It examines economic activity factors related to coal gasification and how the location of a number of key support industries in Ohio could provide the state with a competitive advantage in this area. The study focuses on a polygeneration facility that would supply electricity and some other products as an example of the type of gasification facility that could, if a sufficient number of similar facilities were located in the area, serve as the stimulus for a new or expanded industry cluster.
The potential economic impact of locating a polygeneration gasifier in Northeast Ohio is large. A significant portion of the inputs required for one $1.1+ billion facility can be supplied either within northeastern Ohio or from elsewhere in the state. Operation of the facility is estimated to increase annual statewide personal income by $39 million and Ohio output by $161 million. The Northeast Ohio region will account for 98 percent of the operational benefits.
The report suggests several possible steps to convert this research to an action plan to build support for, and interest in, a coal-gasification industry cluster in Northeast Ohio. Outreach should focus on engaging industry leaders, foundations, and state and regional economic development leaders.
On December 12, 2007, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Ishii ruled against a group of automobile manufacturers challenging California’s authority to set and implement greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles. The auto industry had argued that the state's proposed regulations amount to setting fuel efficiency requirements for new vehicles, and that such efficiency standards can be set only by the federal government - specifically, the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. A similar ruling was issued earlier this year in Vermont against automobile industry plaintiffs challenging that state’s authority to adopt California’s vehicle emissions standards. California’s proposed standards would be gradually phased in between model-years 2009 and 2016, and by model-year 2016, would require reductions of tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles of approximately 30 percent. California and 16 other states are poised to adopt the standards, assuming the federal EPA grants California’s waiver request and barring any additional legal challenges.
On November 19, 2007, Governor Brian Schweitzer announced that Montana will become the seventh U.S. state to join the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a joint effort to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. The Initiative was established in February 2007 by the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington; Utah and the Canadian Provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba joined the initiative in the spring of 2007. Under the agreement, by 2008 the member states and provinces will establish a cap-and-trade system to aid in meeting their regional greenhouse gas emissions target of 15% below 2005 levels by 2020. The participants will also set up an emissions registry and tracking system.
At the same time, Governor Schweitzer also announced a new initiative seeking a 20% reduction in energy consumption by Montana state agencies by the year 2010. In addition to reducing energy use, Schweitzer also asked agencies to apply a Montana vehicle efficiency standard by shifting state vehicle fleets to achieve an average of 30 miles per gallon or better.
On November 15, 2007, six states and one Canadian Province established the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. Under the Accord, members agree to establish regional greenhouse gas reduction targets, including a long-term target of 60 to 80 percent below current emissions levels, and develop a multi-sector cap-and-trade system to help meet the targets. Participants will also establish a greenhouse gas emissions reductions tracking system and implement other policies, such as low-carbon fuel standards, to aid in reducing emissions. The Governors of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, as well as the Premier of the Canadian Province of Manitoba, signed the Accord as full participants; the Governors of Indiana, Ohio, and South Dakota joined the agreement as observers to participate in the development of the cap and trade system. The Accord represents the first Midwestern regional agreement among U.S. states to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will be fully implemented within 30 months.
The agreement was announced at the end of the two-day MGA Energy Security and Climate Change Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during which representatives from the Midwestern states – including the nine states mentioned above, as well as Nebraska and North Dakota – discussed the various low-carbon energy options available in their region. In addition to the Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord signed by six states and Manitoba, eight members of the MGA signed the Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform. The Platform lists goals for energy efficiency improvements, low-carbon transportation fuel availability, renewable electricity production, and carbon capture and storage development. Member states also signed six additional resolutions. These measures establish a Carbon Management Infrastructure Partnership, a Midwestern Biobased Product Procurement System, coordination across the region for biofuels development, and a working group to pursue a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional transmission initiative.
Statement by Eileen Claussen, President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
November 15, 2007
The announcement today by the Midwestern Governors is an important development - both environmentally and politically. This agreement fills a geographic gap in regional climate action, sending a clear message that the U.S. states are increasingly united behind efforts to reduce our emissions. The Midwest emits relatively high levels of greenhouse gases and is especially dependent on two economic sectors that are absolutely critical to addressing climate change -- coal and agriculture. Constructive Midwest engagement dramatically increases the likelihood of developing a sensible national policy.
On November 8, 2007, the state of California sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to act on the state’s vehicle emissions standards waiver request. In its lawsuit, California argues that the agency should be compelled to issue a decision on the request, which was originally made by the California Air Resources Board in December 2005. California has special authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to set its own vehicle emissions standards that go beyond federal standards, though it must first obtain a waiver from the U.S. EPA. Other states can then choose to follow either California’s regulations or the EPA’s. California’s proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles would be gradually phased in starting in 2009, and by 2016 would require reductions of tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles of approximately 30 percent. The fourteen other states poised to adopt the California standards will join as interveners in the lawsuit. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger warned the federal government six months earlier that the state would file the suit if the U.S. EPA continued to delay action on the waiver request. The EPA has repeatedly stated that it will reach a decision by the end of 2007.
On November 7, 2007, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter released Colorado’s Climate Action Plan. Under the plan, the Governor will issue an executive order by the end of the year establishing a statewide greenhouse gas emissions reductions target of 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and an 80 percent reduction below 2005 levels by 2050. The plan also urges accelerated federal investments in clean coal technologies and state investments in clean coal technologies. Other actions under the plan include an agricultural carbon offset program, Colorado’s adoption of California’s vehicle GHG emissions standards, an Industrial Energy Efficiency Program for large industrial emitters, and mandatory reporting of GHG emissions by major emitters. The Colorado plan also addresses adaptation measures, with a primary focus on water resources and forestry.
On November 1-2, 2007, 100 mayors attended the 2007 Mayors Climate Protection Summit in Seattle, Washington. At the Summit, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) announced a new partnership. All 1,100 cities in the USCM will have the opportunity to purchase energy-efficient and clean-energy products and technologies through CCI’s existing purchasing consortium. Mayors at the conference also urged Congress to complete energy efficiency legislation by the end of the year. As of November 2007, 710 mayors, representing 25 percent of the U.S. population, have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Signatories commit to reduce the carbon emissions of their communities seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012, in line with targets proposed for the United States as a whole under the Kyoto Protocol.
On October 29, 2007, a number of governments from around the world announced the formation of the International Carbon Action Partnership. Each of the member governments has either established or is in the process of designing cap and trade systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Partnership will provide a forum for members to share experiences, research, and best practices on the design of trading schemes. This will help the different trading systems develop in a compatible manner to facilitate the transition to a potential global carbon market in the future. The 10 U.S. state members are Arizona, California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington. The other members include nine European Union countries, the European Commission, two Canadian provinces, New Zealand and Norway.