On January 31, 2012, the National Governors Association released a report that details all state-level clean energy actions implemented between June 2010 and August 2011. The report, entitled Clean State Energy Actions: 2011, highlights how all states are working hard to promote clean energy despite the weak economy and state budget challenges. The report identifies state actions in seven categories:
- Energy efficiency
- Clean electricity
- Alternative fuels and vehicles
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Clean energy research, development, and demonstration
- Clean energy economic development
According to the report, nearly all states improved energy efficiency and increased clean electricity generation. In addition, Arkansas, Maryland and forty other states promoted alternative fuels and vehicles. Delaware, Louisiana, North Carolina and twenty-three additional states initiated lead-by-example programs, in which state governments promote clean energy by using it in state buildings and operations, bringing the total to fifty-one states and territories. Oregon, Washington, Vermont and nine other states took new action to address greenhouse gas emissions. Forty-five states have now addressed emissions in some way by participating in greenhouse gas registries or initiatives, setting emission reduction targets, authorizing commissions to study the impact of climate change, and/or developing a climate action plan. Finally, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, and twenty-five other states established a new economic development policy to advance the clean energy industry, such as a tax incentive for clean manufacturing or a workforce development program to foster clean energy jobs.
Overall, the report emphasizes that states have adopted policies that best fit their unique needs and opportunities. While states will likely struggle with fiscal hardship in the coming years, the National Governors Association believes that states will still look to reduce energy costs and invest in clean energy economic development.
Clean State Energy Actions Press Release