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

Statement: California Climate Action

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.

California facts:

  • 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
Eileen Claussen statement on California's climate action plan to reduce global warming and GHG emissions.

California Sets Aggressive Emissions Reduction Targets

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 

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

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 

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

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 

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

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 

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

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 

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

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 

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)

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