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
 

Iowa Governor Encourages Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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On April 22, 2005, Governor Thomas Vilsack signed an executive order instructing state agencies to increase their operational energy efficiency and renewable energy use. The order mandates a 15% improvement in energy efficiency at state facilities by 2010, and the procurement of hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicles for non-law enforcement state vehicles. The governor also directed state agencies to purchase equipment with the lowest life-cycle cost when possible, and to purchase 10% of their electricity from renewable sources. Iowa is the nation’s top producer of ethanol, one of the fuels that can be used by the vehicles mandated by the order. Iowa also has over 600MW of wind capacity, in part due to a Renewable Portfolio Standard that the state passed in 1999.


Read the Executive Order (pdf)

Washington State Adopts LEED Standards for Public Buildings

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On April 8, 2005, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill mandating that all new public buildings meet the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards. Washington is the first state in the country to require such standards. The law will apply to new public facilities over 5,000 square feet, as well as major renovation projects. A building can achieve a LEED standard by earning points based on energy efficiency, use of sustainable materials, and other environmental attributes. There are currently over 1,900 buildings in the United States completed or in progress that meet one of the LEED standards.

Press Release
Read the Legislation
Read about the LEED standards

New Mexico Passes Suite of Energy Bills

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In March 2005, the New Mexico legislature passed three bills to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in the state.

  • The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bonding Act allows the sale of $20 million in bonds to support energy efficiency and solar projects in existing public buildings. The New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources, the bond administrator, estimates that the act will save the state $46 million in electricity costs over the 20-year life of the bonds.
  • The Efficient Use of Energy Act encourages public gas and electric utilities to invest in energy efficiency. The act directs utilities to explore cost-effective efficiency investments, in order to reduce electricity consumption, the associated emissions, and the flow of money to out-of- state electricity generators.
  • The Natural Resources Conservation Bids Act facilitates energy efficiency upgrades to public buildings.

These legislative initiatives were developed in part by Governor Richardson’s Clean Energy Task Forces created last year. The Task Forces were created in response to an executive order declaring New Mexico the “Clean Energy State”.

Read the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bonding Act (pdf)
Read the Efficient Use of Energy Act (pdf)
Read the Natural Resources Conservation Bids Act (pdf)
Read the “Clean Energy State” Executive Order (pdf)

Three States Issue New Appliance Efficiency Standards

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Three States Issue New Appliance Efficiency Standards

Arizona, New Jersey, and California announced new appliance efficiency standards this spring. On March 8, 2005, Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey approved higher standards for eight products, including commercial refrigerators and washing machines. New Jersey projects consumer savings of over $742 million by 2020 on their utility bills. Also in March, the California Energy Commission set standards for 17 products, and estimates these regulations will save consumers $3 billion over 15 years. Most recently, in April Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed into law efficiency standards for 12 appliances. These states’ standards are for products not covered by federal standards. Without a waiver from the Department of Energy, states may not set standards for products with existing federal standards. Maryland and Connecticut have also passed appliance efficiency standards.

Read the New Jersey law
Read the California Regulations (pdf)
Read the Arizona law (pdf)

Innovative Approaches to Climate Change: A State-Federal Workshop

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A two-day workshop on innovative State and Federal approaches to climate change.

February 7th and 8th, 2005
St. Regis Hotel
923 16th and K Streets, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006

Presentations

Opening Panel
Steve Owens, Director, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

William Ross Jr., Secretary, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Gina McCarthy, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
(pdf)

Panel #2. Regional initiatives
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Nancy Seidman, Director, Bureau of Waste Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (pdf)

West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative: David Van’t Hof, Governor’s Sustainability Advisor, Oregon Governor’s Office (pdf)

Powering the Plains: The Honorable Jon Nelson, North Dakota State Representative
(pdf)

Western Governors’ Association’s Clean and Diversified Energy Initiative:
Craig O’Hare, Special Assistant for Renewable Energy, New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (pdf)

Kevin Moran, Washington DC Office Director, Western Governors’ Association (pdf)

Lunch keynote speaker
Daniel Richard, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs, PG&E Corporation

Panel #3. Electric Utility Solutions Part A
Paul Hudson, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission of Texas (pdf)

Paul Kjellander, Chairman, Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Jay Braitsch, Director of Strategic Planning, Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy and Jackie Bird, Director, Ohio Coal Development Office (pdf)

Panel #4. Transportation
Eileen Tutt, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary for External Affairs, California Environmental Protection Agency (pdf)

Tyler Duvall, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation

Marlin Gottschalk, Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources (pdf)

Keynote dinner speaker
The Honorable Jim Cooper, United States House of Representatives

Panel #5. Electric Utility Solutions Part B
Lola Spradley, former Speaker of the House, Colorado General Assembly

David Stewart-Smith, Assistant Director for Energy Resources, Oregon Department of Energy (pdf)

Robert Scott, Director, Air Resources Division, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (pdf)

Edward Garvey, Deputy Commissioner, Energy and Telecommunications, Minnesota Department of Commerce (pdf)

Panel #6. Solutions in agriculture and forestry
Alec Giffen, Director, Maine Forest Service (pdf)

Dan Desmond, Deputy Secretary for Energy and Technology Development, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (pdf)

Cydney Janssen, former Assistant Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (pdf)

Lunch Keynote Speaker:
David Miller, Director of Research and Commodity Services, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (pdf)

Panel #7. Cross cutting themes and lessons learned: Congressional staff perspectives
Energy: Bob Simon, Democratic Staff Director, Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee (pdf)

Environment: Tim Profeta, Legislative Assistant and Counsel, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman

Agriculture: Aaron Whitesel, Legislative Assistant, Sen. Richard Lugar

Wrap Up
Barry Rabe, Professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Arizona Governor Takes Action on Climate and Clean Energy

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On February 2, 2005, Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona signed an executive order creating a Climate Change Advisory Group for the state. The governor charged the group with developing recommendations to reduce Arizona’s greenhouse gas emissions, culminating in the submission of a Climate Change Action Plan by June 2006. The advisory group will also produce an inventory of Arizona’s greenhouse gas emissions. The governor will appoint representatives to the advisory group from state government, industry, tourism, and non-governmental organizations. Governor Napolitano released a second executive order on February 11, requiring new state-funded buildings to derive at least 10% of their energy from renewable sources, either directly or through the purchase of renewable energy credits. This executive order also requires new state buildings to meet the “silver” level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Read the Climate Change Advisory Group Executive Order
Read the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Executive Order

California Approves “Carbon Adder” for Electric Utility Plans

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On December 16, 2004, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a requirement that a “carbon adder” be included in resource plans for three of California’s utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company. The carbon adder explicitly takes into account the social cost of carbon emissions from electricity generation facilities when comparing prices of fossil fuel and renewable generation, as well as demand-side management investments. The carbon adder will be used for utility planning purposes only, and will not be assessed to consumers. Taking the cost of carbon into account will mean that a power source is considered more cost effective if it avoids a ton of CO2 emissions for $8 to $25. The CPUC based this range of costs on a number of studies, including the Idaho Power Company’s 2004 resource planning process, which assessed a carbon adder of $12.30 per ton of CO­2.

Press Release
Read the Decision (pdf)

Pennsylvania Adopts Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

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On December 16, 2004, Governor Edward Rendell signed into law Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. The standard requires that qualified power sources provide 18% of Pennsylvania’s electricity by 2020. There are two tiers of qualified sources that electric generation and distribution companies may use to meet the standard. Each tier has its own percentage requirement. Tier 1 sources, which must make up 8% of the portfolio, include wind, solar, coalmine methane, small hydropower, geothermal, and biomass. The Tier 1 standard also specifies that solar sources provide 0.5% of generation by 2020, the most solar power mandated by any state. Tier 2 sources make up the remaining 10% of the portfolio, and include waste coal, demand side management, large hydropower, municipal solid waste, and coal integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC). The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission is charged with developing a system of tradeable clean energy credits to facilitate utility compliance with the standard. Pennsylvania is the 18th U.S. state with a mandate to produce some portion of its electricity from renewable sources.

See a Map of States with Renewable Portfolio Standards
Read the Legislation

Maine Releases Climate Action Plan

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On December 1, 2004, Maine released its Climate Action Plan to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The plan, developed by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, is a set of 54 actions that may enable Maine to achieve its emissions targets. These targets follow the New England Governors’ and Eastern Canadian Premiers’ climate agreement, and will reduce Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and to 10% below those levels in 2020. Both the targets and the development of the plan are a result of a law enacted by Maine last year. Maine’s plan proposes increasing sequestration of carbon through new forestry practices, creating incentives for more efficient vehicles, and trading emission reduction credits. In assessing the costs of the plan, the Department of Environmental Protection predicted that almost half of the actions would reduce emissions at little or no cost.

Read About the Initiative
Download the Plan
Read the Legislation

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