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
Governor Don Carcieri announced Rhode Island’s intention to adopt California’s standards for motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions on October 13, 2005. The Governor cited concerns over climate change, air pollution and the threat to consumers of rising gasoline prices in the state’s decision. Beginning with new 2009 model year cars and trucks, these regulations 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. Connecticut projects that fuel savings will offset the costs of adding fuel efficiency and emission reduction technologies to new vehicles. Presently, Rhode Island’s transportation sector contributes 40 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
North Carolina Governor Mike Easley signed a bill establishing the Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change on September 27, 2005. In addition to House and Senate appointees, the 34-member commission will include leaders from the state power industry, the Manufacturers and Chemical Industry Council, the North Carolina Farm Bureau and Forestry Associations, environmental organizations and academia, among others. The commission is charged with addressing the threats posed by global warming and determining the costs and benefits of the various mitigation strategies adopted by state and national governments. The commission will also assess the state’s potential economic opportunities in emerging carbon markets. Based on its findings, the commission will determine the desirability of a statewide greenhouse gas emission goal and make recommendations for an appropriate path forward. Findings and recommendations are due to the General Assembly by November 1, 2006.
New Mexico Joins Chicago Climate Exchange
New Mexico became the first state to enroll in the Chicago Climate Change Exchange (CCX), the only carbon emissions cap-and-trade scheme currently active in the U.S. Members of CCX enter contractual agreements to cut their emissions. Depending on their performance, they can sell, bank, or purchase emission credits, which are traded daily over the Internet. Members of CCX include companies such as IBM, Du Pont, and Ford Motor Co. and cities such as Chicago, Oakland, and Boulder. The New Mexico state government will reduce its emissions 4% by 2006 and 6% by 2010. The state‘s entry into CCX is consistent with Governor Bill Richardson’s GHG emission reduction targets for the state. In June 2005 Governor Richardson signed an executive order setting statewide commitments to reduce New Mexico’s total greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2012, 10 percent below those levels by 2020, and 75 percent below 2000 levels by 2050.
Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill on August 1, 2005, increasing the amount of renewable generation required in the state. Texas implemented a renewable energy mandate in January 2002 that required 2,000 MW of new renewable generation be built in the state by 2009. The updated law increases this capacity requirement to 5,880 MW by 2015, which will meet about 5% of the state’s projected electricity demand. The legislation also sets a cumulative target of installing 10,000 MW of renewable generation capacity by 2025. In an effort to diversify the state’s renewable generation portfolio, the measure also includes a requirement that the state must meet 500 MW of the 2025 target with non-wind renewable generation.
Click on a link below to view a map and read descriptions of U.S. state and regional climate actions.
- Residential Building Energy Codes
- Commercial Building Energy Codes
- Green Building Standards for State Buildings
- Appliance Efficiency Standards
- Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs
- On-Bill Financing
See a table of all state initiatives.
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.