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 August 21, 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill expanding the state’s $3.2 billion solar subsidy program to include incentives to customers of municipally owned utilities. The bill provides for the installation of 1 million rooftop solar panels, which would generate approximately 3,000 megawatts of solar electric power and reduce greenhouse emissions by 3 million tons per year. The new legislation requires homebuilders to offer rooftop solar panels to prospective home buyers beginning in 2011, and increases the cap on the number of customers who can sell excess energy back to power companies from 0.5 to 2.5 percent.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Releases Final Model Rule
On August 15, 2006, the seven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) released the final model rule for the program. RGGI is a mandatory cap-and-trade program designed to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants. The model rule provides a set of regulations for the structure and function of RGGI. Each state that intends to participate in RGGI must adopt this rule through legislation or regulation. The final model rule incorporates public comments received on earlier drafts from formal stakeholders and interested parties. The participating states also agreed to amend their December 2005 Memorandum of Understanding, simplifying the safety valve and offset provisions of the program. Currently, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont have signed the memorandum of understanding, and Maryland has committed to joining the initiative by 2007.
On August 11, 2006, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed an executive order creating the Interagency Council on Energy. The council will provide energy policy advice to the governor and General Assembly, oversee the implementation of a plan to improve energy efficiency, and promote in-state production of clean energy. In particular, the plan encourages use of clean coal and biomass to produce electricity and transportation fuels. Governor Daniels also signed Executive Order 06-14 mandating that at least 10 percent of electricity used in state government buildings come from domestically produced, renewable energy by 2010, and increase to 25% by 2025. In addition, state fleet vehicle replacements must be able to use alternative fuels.
Market Mechanisms for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions: Lessons for California
Prepared by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
California is currently considering legislation that would establish state-wide caps on greenhouse gas emissions. This paper is based on extensive research by the Pew Center and others on the use of market mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It begins with a summary of possible solutions for the state, and then provides more detailed background on market mechanisms, with particular attention to relevant lessons for California.
On July 31, 2006, California Governor Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair signed an agreement to act collaboratively to address climate change. The agreement commits both California and the United Kingdom to: enhance linkages between their respective scientific communities to assess the impacts of climate change at the regional level; share information on the economic impacts of climate change and of potential mitigation strategies and adaptation measures; collaborate on technology research, especially for the energy sector; evaluate and implement market-based mechanisms and explore the potential for linkages between such mechanisms in California and the UK. Blair and Schwarzenegger announced the agreement at a meeting with prominent Californian and European business leaders on climate issues.
On July 25, 2006, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell signed “An Act Concerning Clean Cars” into law. This legislation, which goes into effect in October 2007, requires automobile manufacturers to affix a label to vehicles sold in the state detailing the vehicle’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The law bars both the sale and the lease of 2009 or later models without the required GHG label. The labeling program will be funded through a $5 fee on new car registrations. The new law also requires Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Motor Vehicles to create an education program to disseminate information about global warming and the effect of vehicle choice on GHG emissions.
On July 7, 2006, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law legislation creating incentives for the production, distribution, and purchase of alternative fuels. The seven-bill package lowers the state tax on each gallon of ethanol-blended fuel from 19 cents to 12 cents and on biodiesel fuels from 15 cents per gallon to 12. The legislation also allows for the creation of new agriculture renaissance zones (i.e. regions of the state set aside as virtually tax-free) for companies producing ethanol and biodiesel and it provides grants to renovate or expand existing service stations to make E-85 and biodiesel available.
On July 5, 2006, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed House Bill 1270, creating the Missouri Renewable Fuel Standard Act. The bill requires all but premium grade gasoline sold in Missouri to contain 10 percent ethanol by the beginning of 2008. The bill also ensures consumers the lowest-price fuel by lifting the 10 percent standard during periods when ethanol is more expensive than petroleum. Officials anticipate that Missouri’s expanding number of ethanol production facilities, growing from three to four in the near future, will be quite capable of meeting this standard.
On June 29, 2006, Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri signed a comprehensive energy bill designed to encourage the use of energy efficiency, renewable and distributed energy systems (small power systems owned by the customer and connected to the grid). The legislation requires the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to set new standards for procuring energy from diverse sources, including renewable energy systems and distributed energy systems. By 2008, each utility in the state has to submit plans – to be updated every three years - for procuring these energy resources, including goals and target percentages for each resource. The energy bill also establishes new criteria to facilitate the siting of wind power facilities, creates a $7 million fund to support investments in renewable energy, and increases the rebates to consumers who purchase energy efficiency equipment. To help establish long-term energy plans, the legislation creates the Office of Energy Resources. Governor Carcieri also signed S 2844 on June 23rd, requiring the PUC to establish new energy efficiency standards for seven residential appliances by June 2007.
On June 26, 2006, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed into law SB 2957 to encourage renewable energy and renewable fuels. This law raises the income tax credit for certain renewable energy technologies, makes this tax credit permanent, and establishes a pilot financing mechanism for the purchase of residential solar hot water heater systems. SB 2957 also provides incentives to support the production of biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. Additionally, the legislation establishes the Hawaii Renewable Hydrogen Program to move the state toward a renewable hydrogen economy. SB 2957 is part of the governor's "Energy for Tomorrow" package, which includes three other new energy laws HB 2175 appropriates $5 million for solar power systems in public schools and instructs state agencies to maximize energy efficiency. This bill also encourages new green buildings by giving them priority when they apply for construction permits and sets green building standards for state buildings. Additionally, this legislation requires 20 percent of the state's new vehicles to be hybrids or alternative fuel vehicles, with the percentage increasing in subsequent years. SB 3185 establishes a public benefits fund for energy efficiency programs and authorizes the state's Public Utility Commission (PUC) to set penalties for failing to meet the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Finally, HB 2848 appropriates $200,000 to reconvene the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum to develop an action plan, timeline, recommendations, and benchmarks to meet the state's energy self-sufficiency goals.