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
Following more than five months of public comment and deliberation, the Illinois Commerce Commission adopted Governor Rod Blagojevich’s two- part Sustainable Energy Plan. On July 19, 2005, the commission passed a resolution that called for both Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards. To implement the RPS, Illinois utilities have agreed to acquire 2% of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2006, add another 1% every year, and reach the goal of 8% by 2013. Electricity generated from wind, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, biomass, and existing hydropower are considered renewable energy under this resolution. Under the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, utility companies will create new programs to reduce the increase in electricity demand 10% by 2008. This standard increases to an ultimate goal of reducing Illinois’ growth in electricity demand 25% by 2015. Both Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Corp. - the state's largest utilities – have said they will comply with the new standards.
Governor Donald Carcieri adopted appliance energy efficiency standards for Rhode Island when he signed the Energy and Consumer Savings Act on July 1, 2005. The Act sets minimum efficiency standards for 14 appliances. Some of these appliance standards are based on the U.S. EPA and DOE’s Energy Star standards and California’s existing appliance standards. The standards are expected to reduce annual GHG emissions by 20,000 tons and save the state $225 million in reduced energy generation costs over the next 25 years. Rhode Island joins Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, New Jersey, and California in setting efficiency standards for household and commercial appliances.
Governor George Pataki signed the Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Standards Act of 2005 into law on July 29, 2005. The Act, S. 5614A, sets energy efficiency standards for appliances not covered by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 such as ceiling fan and light kits; commercial washing machines; commercial refrigerators, freezers, and icemakers; torchiere lighting fixtures; and other commercial and household items. Governor Pataki first introduced the energy efficiency performance standards legislation in April. New York estimates that the standards will save consumers up to 2,096 gigawatt hours of electricity a year - enough energy to power 350,000 homes - and up to $284 million savings, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 870,000 metric tons. Additionally, the Act charges the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority with developing energy efficiency standards to reduce the amount of power used by certain products in standby mode. New York will join California in trying to reduce “phantom” energy use by DVD players, VCRs, and digital television adapters, which often draw power even when the device is turned off.
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas signed a renewable portfolio standard into law on June 14, 2005. The legislation requires renewable generation to equal incremental load growth between 2005 and 2012, but does not require utilities hold renewable energy credits (RECs) equal to renewable generation. If utilities have not met this requirement, the state will instate an RPS equal to the percentage of load growth between 2005 and 2012. If the state experiences 7% load growth, but utilities have not obtained 7% of their electricity from eligible renewables by 2012, the state will adopt an RPS of 7%. Vermont’s definition of renewable energy includes wind, solar, small hydropower methane from landfill gas, anaerobic digesters, and sewage-treatment facilities, while excluding municipal solid waste. Vermont utilities are permitted to build generation capacity out of state to comply with the mandate, and may also sell Renewable Energy Credits.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors voted unanimously to support the Climate Protection Agreement sponsored by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. The agreement, adopted June 13, 2005, mirrors the Kyoto Protocol’s goal of reducing GHG emissions 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. The mayors committed to meet this emissions goal while urging state and federal governments to adopt policies that would achieve these reduction targets. The U.S. Conference of Mayors represents 1,183 cities from all 50 states. Before the Mayors’ Conference convened in June, 164 mayors from around the country had signed onto the agreement.
New Mexico joined a growing number of states with targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions when Governor Bill Richardson signed an Executive Order on June 9, 2005. The Governor set New Mexico’s targets at achieving 2000 emissions levels by 2012, 10% below 2000 levels by 2020, and a 75% reduction below 2000 emission levels by 2050. These goals supplement New Mexico’s suite of climate-friendly policies that includes a renewable portfolio standard, a renewable energy tax credit, and a goal to increase energy efficiency. New Mexico is the first major coal, oil and gas producing state to set targets for cutting global warming emissions. Governor Richardson’s Executive Order creates the New Mexico Climate Change Advisory Group, a 40- member stakeholder committee charged with finding ways for the state to meet these new targets. The executive order also tasks the state agencies with developing a report on climate impacts, a report on impacts to water resources, an emissions inventory and forecast, recommendations for state government emissions reductions, and annual progress reports.
Statement of Eileen Claussen, President, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
June 3, 2005
"State initiatives are vital not only because they can help pave the way for federal action, but also because of the simple fact that U.S. states are large emitters of greenhouse gases. (CA is the 5th largest economy in the world). While state and regional action cannot substitute for a national response, it can help provide the foundation for that response; and it is time for a national response here in the U.S.
We applaud Gov. Schwarzenegger’s announcement, it is the latest sign of growing bi-partisan momentum in the United States to dealing with global warming and the reduction of GHG emissions. The targets the Governor set are aggressive and will require both a mandatory set of policies and a continued commitment of political will."
Current and Projected Emissions Levels:
California emissions in 1990 were approximately 445 MMTCO2E, including imported electricity. Emissions in 2001 were 505 MMTCO2E, and assuming that this growth trend continues, the California Energy Commissions (CEC) projects emissions growth to 587 MMTCO2 E in 2020, a 32% increase over 1990 levels.
- Population of 36 million - expected to grow to 41 million by 2010
- 5th largest economy in the world
- 5th largest consumer of energy in the world
- CA emissions are 7.2 percent of U.S. GHG emissions and 1.4 percent of the world’s GHG emissions
- If California was a country, it would rank 10th on the list of emitters
- GHG emissions are projected to grow 10 percent by 2020
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order on June 1, 2005, setting greenhouse gas emissions targets for the state. The order directs state officials to develop plans that would reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by 11% below current levels over the next five years, 25% by 2020, and 80% by 2050. These targets are equivalent to reaching 2000 GHG emissions levels by 2010 and 1990 levels by 2020. In collaboration with a variety of state agencies, the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency will develop strategies to achieve the targets. In a separate action on May 31, the State Assembly approved a bill that would set more stringent emissions targets for California. The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Ira Ruskin, sets a target of reducing emissions 7% below 1990 levels in 2010, and 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. California has a variety of existing policies and programs addressing climate change.
On May 9, 2005, Governor Christine Gregoire signed two bills that will increase both supply and demand for renewable energy generation. On the supply side, SB 5111 offers tax breaks to Oregon companies that manufacture and sell solar equipment. On the demand side, SB 5101 offers the first state feed-in credit for solar and wind energy production. A feed-in credit provides performance-based tax breaks for small-scale renewable energy generation to “feed” electricity into the grid; a similar German law spurred high levels of investment in renewables. Governor Gregoire also signed HB 1397 adopting California’s vehicle GHG emissions standards for Washington, conditional on Oregon’s adoption of the standard. In April, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski formed a task force to adopt the standard, which would allow the Washington to become the tenth state intending to follow California’s standard. Finally, Washington joined Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, New Jersey and California in adopting efficiency standards for 12 types of appliances.
Read SB 5101 providing renewable manufacturing incentives (pdf)
Read SB 5111 providing renewable generation incentives (pdf)
Read HB 1397 adopting vehicle emissions standards (pdf)
Read HB 1062 adopting appliance efficiency standards (pdf)
On April 28, 2005, Montana took a step towards increasing renewable generation in the state by passing Senate Bill 415, the Renewable Power Production and Rural Economic Development Act. The law requires that 10% of the electricity sold in Montana come from renewable sources by 2010 and 15% by 2015. On April 28, 2005, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer signed the bill, which, in addition to the targets, calls for a renewable energy credit tracking system and leaves open the option to trade renewable energy credits outside of the state. The legislation contains a cost cap that encourages utilities to invest in renewable generation that is cost competitive with conventional generation.