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 May 21, 2007, Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. announced that Utah will become the sixth state to join the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, a joint effort to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change established in February 2007 by the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The Canadian Province of British Columbia joined the initiative in April of 2007. Under the agreement, the six states and B.C. will jointly set a regional emissions target by August 2007, and by August 2008 will establish a market-based system – such as a cap-and-trade program covering multiple economic sectors – to aid in meeting the target. The participants will also set up an emissions registry and tracking system.
On May 16, 2007, former President Bill Clinton announced the Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit program, a partnership between the Clinton Climate Initiative, four multinational energy service companies, five global banks, and 16 major cities around the world to significantly reduce energy use in municipal buildings. Under the program, participating cities will retrofit their municipal buildings with more efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems, reflective roofs, and other efficiency measures and products. These upgrades are expected to reduce these buildings’ energy use by between 20 and 50 percent. Energy audits and building retrofits will be undertaken by Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Inc., Siemans, and Trane. The five participating banks – ABN AMRO, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS – have agreed to contribute $1 billion each to help finance the project, and cities will repay the bank loans with their energy cost savings. The 16 cities initially participating in the program include Bangkok, Berlin, Chicago, Houston, Johannesburg, Karachi, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toronto.
On May 14, 2007, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer signed HB 25, adopting a CO2 emissions performance standard for electric generating units in the state. HB 25 prohibits the state Public Utility Commission from approving electric generating units primarily fueled by coal unless a minimum of 50% of the CO2 produced by the facility is captured and sequestered. The bill applies only to electric generating units constructed after January 1, 2007. With the signing of HB 25, Montana joins California, Oregon, and Washington as states that have adopted a CO2 emissions
performance standard for electric generating units.
Governor's Signing Statement
On May 11, 2007, Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire signed into law HB 873, the Renewable Energy Act, which establishes a renewable energy portfolio standard for the state. House Bill 873 mandates that 25% of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2025, a goal Governor Lynch had previously set for New Hampshire. Under the new law, electricity providers must provide a minimum specified percentage of electricity from renewable sources starting in 2008 and increasing every year through 2025. New development of wind, biomass and geothermal power, as well as job creation is expected in the state as a result of the law.
On May 8, 2007, more than 30 states signed on as charter members of The Climate Registry, a collaboration aimed at developing a common system for entities to report greenhouse gas emissions. The Registry will serve as a tool to measure, track, verify and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions consistently and transparently between states. Voluntary, market-based and regulatory greenhouse gas emissions reporting programs are all supported under the Registry. The founding member states and tribes include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Campo Kumeyaay Nation. The Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba have also joined the Registry. This collaboration is the largest national effort to date to track greenhouse gas emissions.
Washington State Sets Statewide GHG Emissions Targets, Performance Standard for Electricity
On May 3, 2007, Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington signed SB 6001, setting into law statewide greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals and strategies originally announced in a February 2007 executive order. The new law commits Washington to reduce statewide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035, and 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, as well as to the creation of thousands of new jobs in the clean energy sector by 2020. The bill directs the Governor’s office to develop policy recommendations for how the state can achieve these goals, including, among others, the possible implementation of market mechanisms such as a cap and trade system, carbon sequestration projects, replacing high-emitting electricity generation with newer technologies, and the improvement of regulatory and tax policies. The recommendations must be submitted to the legislature for consideration in 2008. SB 6001 also establishes a GHG performance standard for all new, long-term baseload electric power generation. Under the standard, all baseload generation for which utilities enter into long-term contracts must meet a greehouse gas emissions standard of 1,100 pounds per megawatt-hour beginning in July 2008.
On April 27, 2007, Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed SF 485, establishing a Climate Change Advisory Council that will be composed of a range of Governor-appointed stakeholders, as well as members of the legislature. The council is charged with developing a range of scenarios for reductions of statewide greenhouse gas emissions, including the possibility of cutting emissions 50 percent by 2050, and recommending the best strategies for statewide emissions reductions. The council will submit its recommendations to the governor and the general assembly by January 1, 2008. SF 485 also creates a voluntary greenhouse gas registry to aid with the tracking and crediting of entities in the state that reduce their GHG emissions or that implement energy efficiency measures. The bill also requires the state to consider GHG emissions in reviewing proposals for new power plants.
Maryland Adopts California Vehicle GHG Emissions Standards, Creates Green Building Council, Adopts New Solar Energy Standard
On April 24, 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley signed SB 103, the Maryland Clean Cars Act, officially pledging Maryland to adopt California’s greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. California’s standards are set to begin in the 2009 model year for cars and trucks and mandate a 22 percent reduction of tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions by the 2012 model year and a 30 percent reduction by the 2016 model year. Maryland will adopt similar standards for all vehicles sold and registered in the state beginning in 2011. The Act also establishes a Clean Car and Energy Policy Task Force to study vehicle emissions policies in other states, emerging technologies, and recommend strategies for alternative fuels and efficiency measures to improve state air quality.
On the same day Governor O’Malley signed two additional pieces of legislation to promote building efficiency and solar energy use. The first bill, SB 332 creates the Maryland Green Building Council, which will advise the governor and state legislators on how to use green building principles in state construction projects. The second, SB 595, expands Maryland’s existing renewable portfolio standard to require that 2% of the state’s electricity supply come from solar sources by 2022, in addition to 7.5% from other renewable sources by the same date. The bill also increases the maximum size of customer-owned, grid-connected power systems for net metering from 200 kilowatts to 2 megawatts and requires utilities to provide net metering for up to 1,500 megawatts overall for customer-owned generation systems. Net metering enables the sale of excess electricity back to the power grid.
On April 24, 2007, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that British Columbia will become the first jurisdiction outside of the United States to join the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, a joint effort to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change established in February 2007 by the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. Under the agreement, the five states and B.C. will jointly set a regional emissions target by August 2007, and by August 2008 will establish a market-based system – such as a cap-and-trade program covering multiple economic sectors – to aid in meeting the target. The participants will also set up an emissions registry and tracking system. The initiative builds on work already undertaken individually by the participating states and B.C., each of which has already set its own emissions reductions goals.
Western Regional Climate Action Initiative Press Release
Map of Regional Initiatives
Map of States with Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets
On April 20, 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), officially joining his state to the first multi-state greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program in the U.S. Other participants include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. As members of RGGI, states agree to a regional cap-and-trade program covering power plant carbon dioxide emissions. RGGI aims to cap these emissions at approximately current levels between 2009 and 2015, and then reduce this level 10% by 2019.
On the same day, Governor O’Malley signed an executive order establishing a Maryland Climate Change Commission that will create a state action plan to address climate change. The Commission will assess the possible impacts of climate change; calculate Maryland’s contribution to the climate change problem; work together with various state agencies, energy providers, business leaders, and other groups to develop a greenhouse gas reduction strategy; and develop a plan for reducing the state’s vulnerability to sea level rise and other effects of climate change.
More Information on RGGI
Map of Regional Initiatives
Map of States with Climate Change Commissions