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

California Sets Aggressive Emissions Reduction Targets

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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.

Read the Executive Order
Read the Assembly Bill
Read about California Climate Change Policies and Programs

Washington State Adopts Renewable Incentives, Standards for Vehicles and Appliances

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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)

Montana Sets Renewable Energy Target

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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.

Read the Legislation
See a map of states with renewable energy mandates

Wind and Bioenergy to Fuel North Dakota

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On April 28, 2005, Governor John Hoeven signed into law a legislative package that encourages wind power, ethanol, and biodiesel. North Dakota will now allow renewable energy credits (RECs) from in-state generation to be sold to out-of-state buyers, and will lower the barriers to siting wind power and investing in new transmission. Adequate transmission capacity is often a serious barrier to wind investments. The Legislature authorized continued funding for the ethanol incentives championed by the governor, as well as tax breaks for the purchase and production of both ethanol and biodiesel. The Governor also established an Office of Renewable Energy in the North Dakota Commerce department to assist public and private renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Press Release

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


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

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

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

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