U.S. Climate Alliance State Leadership
Highlights from recent Alliance state climate leadership announcements
- Carbon pricing
- Climate justice
- Commission action
- Congressional testimony
- Energy efficiency
- Executive Order
- GHG inventories
- GHG targets
- Green bank
- Grid moderinization
- International cooperation
- Lead by example
- Natural & working lands
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Oil & natural gas
- Power sector
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
Maryland releases draft plan to achieve climate goals: The Maryland Department of the Environment has drafted a comprehensive, economy-wide plan to dramatically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The draft plan will set Maryland on an ambitious path and serve as a model for how the nation can respond to climate change while also supporting economic growth.
The draft plan incorporates a comprehensive set of more than 100 measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including investments in energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy solutions, widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and improved management of farms and forests. It also supports new industries and technologies by encouraging investment in the energy and transportation sectors. Maryland Department of the Environment estimates as much as $11.54 billion in increased economic output in the state by 2030, and the creation of more than 11,000 jobs as a result of these proposals.
Key elements of the draft plan include:
Governor Hogan’s proposed Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) and its requirement for 100% clean electricity by 2040—one of the most ambitious goals in the nation
An increased emphasis on clean transportation through the Maryland Clean Cars program, expanded investment in public transit, upgrades of half of the state’s transit buses to clean power, and, potentially, the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative’s “carbon cap-and-invest” program
Continued participation and leadership in the geographically expanding Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants
Programs to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), greenhouse gases that are significantly more potent than carbon dioxide, and to better identify and reduce methane leaks in the energy sector
Enhanced healthy soil initiatives, through which farmers can make significant contributions to climate change goals by sequestering carbon
Increasing the energy efficiency of buildings through investments under the EmPOWER Maryland program, along with the implementation of Governor Hogan’s executive order directing state buildings to reduce energy use by an additional 10%
Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Six Bills to Move California Away from Fossil Fuels: Governor Gavin Newsom announced new leadership for the state’s geologic resources agency and signed several bills to move California away from fossil fuels.
“California is a leader in the fight to transition away from fossil fuels. These bills put intentions into action,” said Governor Newsom. “These reforms and new leadership will enhance safety of existing oil wells, refocus the state’s geologic energy division to better consider public health and fight against the Trump administration’s efforts to expand oil extraction in California.”
AB 342 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) prohibits any state entity, including the State Lands Commission and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, among others, or any local trustee from entering into a lease or other conveyance authorizing new construction of oil- and gas-related infrastructure on federally protected lands.
SB 551 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) requires that oil and gas well operators provide estimates of the cost to plug and abandon wells and decommission attendant oil and gas production facilities.
Also, the Governor signed AB 1057 by Assemblymember Monique Limόn (D-Santa Barbara), which renames DOGGR the Geologic Energy Management Division. It also specifies that its mission include protecting public health and safety and environmental quality, including the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions.
AB 1328 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) requires the submission of testing data conducted on idle and abandoned wells for publication on the DOGGR’s website.
SB 463 by Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) improves the reporting of the chemical composition of leaks from natural gas storage wells, and requires the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to review and revise its natural gas storage well regulations and policy.
AB 936 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) fills a critical gap in existing law by establishing contingency planning for all types of nonfloating oil spills, and providing the Office of Spill Prevention and Response with information, financial resources, and technical and administrative tools to prepare for a nonfloating oil spill and respond to one if it occurs.
Governor Wolf Takes Executive Action to Combat Climate Change, Carbon Emissions: Governor Tom Wolf took executive action instructing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based collaboration among nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change while generating economic growth.
“Climate change is the most critical environmental threat confronting the world, and power generation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Wolf. “Given the urgency of the climate crisis facing Pennsylvania and the entire planet, the commonwealth must continue to take concrete, economically sound and immediate steps to reduce emissions. Joining RGGI will give us that opportunity to better protect the health and safety of our citizens.”
Participating states have agreed, either through regulation or legislation, to implement RGGI through a regional cap-and-trade program involving CO2 emitting electric power plants. These states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) set a cap on total CO2 emissions from electric power generators in their states. In order to show compliance with the cap, power plants must purchase a credit or “allowance,” for each ton of CO2, they emit. These purchases are made at quarterly auctions conducted by RGGI. The proceeds from the auctions are allocated back to the participating states in proportion to the amount of carbon subject to regulation in each state.
Governor Newsom Signs Bills to Enhance Wildfire Mitigation, Preparedness and Response Efforts: Governor Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills aimed at improving California’s wildfire prevention, mitigation and response efforts and continuing progress toward our clean energy goals. The 22 bills cover various areas for a comprehensive approach to these issues, and reflect recommendation in of the Governor’s Strike Force report released in June. The report provided guidance on how the state can build a safe, reliable and affordable energy future.
“This has been a top priority in my Administration since day one, and we were able to work collaboratively and effectively with the Legislature to ensure California has a framework for today and for future generations,” said Governor Newsom. “Given the realities of climate change and extreme weather events, the work is not done but these bills represent important steps forward on prevention, community resilience, and utility oversight. I commend the Legislature for making progress on these difficult issues.”
The Governor’s Strike Force report included the following areas of focus:
Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention and Response
Mitigating Climate Change through Clean Energy Policies
Fair Allocation of Catastrophic Wildfire Damages
A More Effective California Public Utilities Commission with the Tools to Manage a Changing Utility Market
Holding PG&E Accountable and Building a Utility that Prioritizes Safety
Governor Cuomo Announces $121 Million in Green Bonds to Support Environmentally Sustainable Projects at Cornell University: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than $121 million in green bonds will support projects at Cornell University. The bonds were issued through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. Green bonds provide investors with the opportunity to directly support projects identified as environmentally sustainable. The bonds were rated AA by Standard and Poor's and Aa1 by Moody's.
"New York has been the most aggressive state in the nation to take action on climate change. We have committed ourselves to a clean-energy path with the goal of drastically reducing carbon emissions," Governor Cuomo said. "These green bonds, and the projects they help support, demonstrate our commitment to providing energy-efficient and cost-saving options for our campuses and communities."
The bond proceeds will be used to finance the construction, on the University's North Campus, of new residence halls that will add up to 2,000 student beds, dining and recreational facilities, as well as programming spaces. The project is following guidelines laid out by the University's Climate Action Plan, requiring no new gas infrastructure for building heat, hot water, power or cooling. The overall goal of the Climate Action Plan is to achieve carbon neutrality on campus by 2035.
Governor Cooper and North Carolina Move Forward with Clean Energy Plan: Governor Roy Cooper’s Climate Change Interagency Council presented four key plans related to clean energy and climate change to the Governor. The plans were a directive the Governor’s Executive Order 80, which he signed last year to reaffirm the state’s commitment to fighting climate change and lead North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy.
“I’m committed to fighting climate change and securing more clean energy jobs for our state and these plans help us do both,” said Governor Cooper. “Our state is taking strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow renewable energy sources, which will create jobs and support innovation.”
The Clean Energy Plan recommends policies and actions based on 160 stakeholders’ input to grow clean energy resources that benefit all of North Carolina. The final plan received more than 660 comments during the final comment period, some of which are directly reflected in the final plan.
Maryland Opens First Fully Converted Gas-to-Electric Refueling Station in the United States: The nation’s first fully converted gas-to-electric refueling and service station for electric vehicles (EV) opened in Montgomery County, Maryland. The EV refueling station, jointly funded by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and Electric Vehicle Institute (EVI), is located along the Maryland/Washington, D.C. border at RS Automotive, 7224 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park.
“Maryland is proud to be a national leader when it comes to clean and renewable energy, climate change, and the promotion of electric infrastructure and vehicles,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This fully-converted, gas-to-electric charging station is a prime example of our administration’s commitment to the environment and transportation.”
The refueling station hosts a state-of-the-art, high-powered (HP), 200 kilowatt (kw), four dispenser system, delivering 50 kws and higher for EV charging. This refueling station allows four EVs to charge simultaneously within 20 to 30 minutes under an illuminated canopy. A new 200 kw/HP charging system with DC fast charging capability is in place to support the EV station along with a certified repair facility that can handle all aspects of servicing, including battery pack replacement and disposal, plus a fully stocked and automated convenience store.
Governor Tim Walz Announces Clean Car Standards in Minnesota: Governor Tim Walz directed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to implement clean car standards—reducing carbon emissions and increasing the choices Minnesotans have when it comes to purchasing electric cars. The new standards will combat climate change, protect public health, increase consumer choice, create jobs, and save Minnesotans money at the pump.
“Climate change threatens the very things that make Minnesota a great place to live, from our magnificent 10,000 lakes to our farmable land and clean air,” said Governor Walz. “If Washington won’t lead on climate, Minnesota will. That is why we are taking bold action to reduce carbon emissions in a way that increases car options, protects public health, creates jobs, and saves Minnesotans money at the pump.”
The Governor directed his Administration to implement two clean cars standards to reduce vehicle emissions in our state. The low-emission vehicle standard requires vehicle manufacturers to deliver passenger cars, trucks and SUVs that produce lower greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants for sale in Minnesota. The zero-emission vehicle standard requires automobile manufacturers to deliver more vehicles with ultra-low or zero tailpipe emissions for sale in Minnesota, including electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid models. Initial estimates indicate that these two policies combined may reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by two million tons by 2030.
Gov. Lujan Grisham commits New Mexico to bold clean car standards at Climate Week event: Gov. Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico will be proposing, adopting and implementing clean car standards, standing shoulder to shoulder with states demonstrating environmental leadership across the country. The governor made the announcement at Climate Week in New York City, joining other U.S. governors on a panel to discuss states advancing ambitious climate action in the face of federal inaction.
While highlighting the bold and forward-thinking actions New Mexico is taking to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Gov. Lujan Grisham announced that the state, by the end of next year, will adopt clean car standards that are more stringent than the federal government’s, increasing vehicle standards to ultimately require new cars beginning in model year 2022 sold in New Mexico to emit fewer greenhouse gases and other pollutants. The clean car standards will increase the average fuel economy to 52 miles per gallon, as opposed to just 37 miles per gallon under the proposed federal rollbacks. New Mexico will join fourteen other states in adopting clean car standards.
“To combat climate change, to keep New Mexico’s citizens safe, to protect the air we all breathe, it’s essential we adopt more stringent clean car standards that increase fuel economy and reduce emissions,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “It is environmentally and economically counterproductive to stall fuel economy standards as contemplated by the proposed federal rollbacks. While President Trump threatens to rob New Mexico and indeed all states of a valuable tool for combating air pollution and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, New Mexico will stand up and deliver on our commitment to environmental leadership.”
Governor Northam Announces $20 Million Electric School Bus Initiative: Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will dedicate $20 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to fund a new initiative aimed at accelerating the deployment of electric school buses across the Commonwealth. Governor Northam made the announcement during a Climate Week NYC event hosted by the United States Climate Alliance with the governors of California, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Washington.
Starting early next year, public school districts in Virginia can apply for funding distributed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality through a competitive application process that will be administered in partnership with the Department of Education. This initiative will prioritize electric school buses with a small reserve set aside for propane school buses.
“School buses are the safest way to transport students to and from school, but as a pediatric doctor, I know the harmful effects of diesel-powered buses on our children’s health,” said Governor Northam. “This initiative represents a significant investment in the electrification of our transportation system, in our efforts to address the climate crisis, and in an environment that allows Virginia children to learn, grow, and thrive.”
Speaking Before The United Nations, Governor Mills Announces Maine Will Be Carbon Neutral by 2045: Standing before the United Nations General Assembly, Governor Janet Mills challenged leaders of the world to take action against climate change, saying the State of Maine will do its part and announcing that she has signed an Executive Order committing the state to carbon neutrality by 2045.
“We all have what it takes to combat climate change, to protect the irreplaceable earth we share and care for,” Governor Mills said in her remarks. “What is more precious than water, air, soil, the health and happiness of our children and our children’s children and yours? For all of them, today, by Executive Order, I am pledging that Maine will be carbon neutral by 2045.”
Governor Mills’ Executive Order requires the Maine Climate Council – which she created with the overwhelming bipartisan approval of the Legislature – to provide recommendations no later than December 1, 2020 on ways to achieve a carbon neutral economy in Maine by 2045.
During Climate Week, Governor Cuomo Announces Partnerships with Ireland and Denmark to Improve Power Grids and Enable More Renewable Energy Sources: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced New York State is pursuing partnerships with Ireland and Denmark by signing two separate memorandums of understanding that will lead to improved electric infrastructure and the advancement of more renewable energy sources, including offshore wind. The agreements were announced during Climate Week and will advance both New York's nation-leading plan to combat climate change and the Governor's Green New Deal agenda. This summer, Governor Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which mandates New York's power be 100 percent clean and carbon-free by 2040.
"New York is committed to innovation and will benefit greatly from these partnerships with two of our key international partners. Jointly pursuing our shared goals will help bring new clean energy resources onto our next-generation electric grids," Governor Cuomo said. "These collaborations will enable New York State to remain at the forefront of technological advancement and economic development as we shape an energy future that will benefit all New Yorkers by lowering costs and reducing our carbon footprint."
Governor Ralph Northam Signs Executive Order 43 to Expand Access to Renewable Energy, Support Clean Energy Jobs of the Future: The Executive Order lays out Virginia’s objectives for statewide energy production, which includes the goal that by 2030, 30 percent of Virginia’s electric system will be powered by renewable energy resources and by 2050, 100 percent of Virginia’s electricity will be produced from carbon-free sources such as wind, solar and nuclear. The path forward includes ensuring at least 3,000 megawatts of solar and onshore wind are under development by 2022, and that up to 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind are fully developed on an accelerated timeline by 2026.
“Since I took office, our administration has been focused on establishing a strong and bold vision for Virginia as we work to modernize our electric grid and reduce barriers to the development of clean energy resources,” said Governor Northam. “We know the importance of a true shift to reliance on renewable energy sources in reducing our carbon footprint, growing our economy, and creating the clean energy jobs of the future. This Executive Order will help ensure that Virginia remains at the forefront of clean energy innovation, meets the urgency of the challenges brought on by climate change, and captures the economic, environmental, and health benefits of this energy growth in an equitable way that benefits all Virginians.”
The Executive Order establishes lead-by-example targets for increasing energy efficiency and sets forth a goal of procuring at least 30 percent of the electricity consumed by the Commonwealth’s agencies and executive branch institutions from renewable resources by 2022.
Washington has reached its goal to have 50,000 electric vehicles on the road: Electric cars are part of Washington's clean energy future. In 2013, we set an ambitious goal to increase the number of EVs on WA roads from 8,000 to 50,000 by 2020.
“Today's a great day for Washington state because I'm proud to be able to announce that today we reached our states goal of having 50,000 electric vehicles on our roads by 2020. We set this goal through our Results Washington program when I first took office in 2013. Then, we only had 8,000 EVs on the road, we only had 6 EVs in the entire state fleet,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “I'm making it easier for more people to drive electric vehicles. We not only save money, we're working toward mitigating and defeating climate change in our state. So, I'm proud that we've hit the goal of 50,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020, it's a great accomplishment. I was to thank to every electric vehicle owner and driver in Washington for helping us reach this goal and ensuring that our grandchildren have clean air to breathe in the years ahead."
Governor Wolf: Pennsylvania’s Solar Future is Bright: Governor Tom Wolf joined Penn State President Eric Barron and leaders from Lightsource BP in Franklin County for a groundbreaking ceremony for one the largest solar projects in Pennsylvania. The 70-megawatt project further supports Pennsylvania’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025 and expand the use of solar energy throughout the commonwealth.
“When I came to office, I set out to build up our commonwealth’s energy portfolio, to diversify it and incorporate more clean, renewable sources,” said Governor Wolf. “My mission to expand alternate energy sources has increased value to Pennsylvania’s solar energy credits and bolstered the development of new solar projects across the commonwealth. This resurgence of solar energy will help us make big strides in reducing our carbon footprint.”
This groundbreaking ceremony was the latest clean, renewable energy celebration in the commonwealth. More than 150,000 solar panels will be installed across three locations in Franklin County, on about 500 acres of leased land. Lightsource BP will finance, build, own, and operate the three solar farms, with Penn State purchasing all of the electricity generated under a 25-year power contract. The project is estimated to save Penn State at least $14 million dollars over the contract term through solar’s low cost of electricity, while meeting 25 percent of the university’s state-wide electricity needs. It will also help develop the Pennsylvania solar market and employ over 250 people during the construction period.
Governor Lamont Signs Executive Order Strengthening Connecticut’s Efforts to Mitigate Climate Change: Governor Ned Lamont announced that he has signed an executive order strengthening Connecticut’s ongoing efforts to combat the effects of climate change and ensure that the state’s communities are as resilient as possible to rising sea levels and increasingly powerful storms.
“Climate change is an urgent, existential threat that must be tackled immediately, and under the leadership of this administration I am going to see to it that Connecticut remains a national leader on climate action,” Governor Lamont said. “While the highest levels of our federal government are refusing to accept scientific facts, we need state governments to unite and address one of the most pressing international problem of our times. The effects of climate change are impacting our air, water, health, natural resources, economic, and the quality of life of every current and future citizen of Connecticut. We have an obligation to act now.”
Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 3 directs the following:
1. Expands the responsibilities of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3)
2. Increases membership of the GC3
3. Directs DEEP to evaluate pathways to transition to 100 percent clean energy grid by 2040
Governor Mills and Efficiency Maine Launch Electric Vehicle Rebate Program: Standing in front of a suite of electric vehicles and joined by Efficiency Maine Trust and participating automobile dealers at Brunswick Landing, Governor Janet Mills announced the launch of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Accelerator Program to provide electric vehicle rebates for Maine people. The EV Accelerator Program will use those settlement funds to provide $1,000-$2,000 rebates on qualifying Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles. It also offers enhanced rebates for low-income households and for governmental and tribal government entities.
“Maine people shell out five billion dollars a year to out-of-state fossil fuel companies, and a lot of that money is spent on gas for vehicles that just becomes carbon dioxide pumped into our atmosphere. We can do better. It is time to usher in the next generation of technologies that will move our state towards a renewable future,” said Governor Mills. “This initiative is a critical step in that direction. By increasing our use of electric vehicles, Maine is making substantial and meaningful progress in transitioning us away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources, which will help slash carbon emissions, combat climate change, and save Maine people money. I am glad to see this funding I won as Attorney General put to good use for Maine people.”
Efficiency Maine’s EV Accelerator aims to displace the use of inefficient internal combustion engines with the increased use of high-efficiency electric vehicles in order to reduce harmful air emissions, including NOx and CO2. The Program will help Maine reach its long-range carbon reduction requirements in the transportation sector – Maine’s largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Efficiency Maine’s EV Accelerator will also help lower the energy and maintenance costs of Maine vehicle fleet operators and Maine drivers, and facilitate a market transformation that will, over time, result in Maine drivers shifting from vehicles that consume high-price, high-carbon fuels to vehicles that operate on electricity.
Gov. Polis Signs Executive Order to Help Improve Air Quality: Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order that will help improve Colorado’s air quality, protect public health, reduce ozone pollution and address climate change.
“This executive order highlights ozone pollution as the most pressing and immediate air quality issue we face - especially for children, seniors, and other vulnerable populations - and directs the RAQC to come into compliance with health-based standards as soon as possible,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “Today’s action marks an important piece of our administration’s broader efforts to protect the qualities that make Colorado such a special place to call home.”
What the Executive Order Does
1. Highlights ozone pollution as the most pressing and immediate air quality issue in the Denver Metro and North Front Range Region, and directs the RAQC to act boldly and cost-effectively to ensure compliance with health-based standards as soon as possible.
2. Directs the RAQC to also take steps to reduce gas emissions in order to mitigate the significant public health, economic and environmental impacts of climate change.
3. Directs the RAQC to prioritize air quality strategies that will promote numerous co-benefits, such as mitigating climate change, improving energy efficiency, reducing traffic and congestion and lowering multiple air pollutants.
The State of Oregon is celebrating a significant milestone, as Oregon has reached 25,000 registered electric vehicles on our roads. This marks the halfway point to the state’s goal of at least 50,000 registered EVs by the end of 2020.
As of August 1, Oregon had 26,218 registered EVs, from plug-in hybrids to all-electric models. The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that of the registered EVs, the most popular rides for Oregonians are the Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3, and Chevrolet Volt.
The 50K by 2020 goal was identified by Governor Brown in Executive Order 17-21, signed in November 2017. The executive order detailed a series of responsibilities for state agencies to encourage and support the electrification of Oregon’s transportation system. “Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, and EVs are a critical piece of the long-term solution to meeting our reduction goals,” said Richard Whitman, Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
The California Energy Commission approved new sprinkler efficiency regulations, which will save California up to 152 billion gallons of water and nearly a billion dollars per year.
The new efficiency standards, which were adopted at the August 14 business meeting, includes new definitions, minimum efficiency performance standards, and certification requirements. The standards take effect October 1, 2020.
The efficiency standards for irrigation sprinklers would prevent excess water pressure and over-irrigation through better pressure regulation. The savings are an estimated $27 for each replaced sprinkler. Cumulatively, this could result in $955 million dollars of stock savings per year for consumers statewide.
North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan lays out a path for the state to become a leader in clean energy innovation, with goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create economic opportunities and foster affordability. After a robust, statewide stakeholder process, the draft of the plan is available for public comment.
The plan includes key policy recommendations, including:
-Modernizing the utility incentives, tools and planning process
-Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 60-70% below 2005 levels by 2030.
-Reducing the energy burden of low-income residents
Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 80 tasked the Department of Environmental Quality with producing the state’s Clean Energy Plan. Once public comments have been reviewed, the final plan will be presented to Governor Cooper by October 1, the deadline set by EO80.
Governor Jared Polis released a statement after the Air Quality Control Commission voted 8-1 to approve a zero-emission vehicle standard for Colorado.
“In one of my first executive orders as governor, I asked for the Department of Public Health and Environment to increase the choices Coloradans have when it comes to purchasing electric cars by increasing the number of models available in our state, and we got it done within a few short months,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It’s only the beginning. Colorado must continue to reduce smog and increase consumer choice.”
Earlier this year, Gov. Polis released a roadmap to 100 percent renewable energy and bold climate action which included the bold goal of more zero-emission vehicles and commuting options.
Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #38 to address the issue of clean energy in Wisconsin.
Executive Order #38 orders the Department of Administration to create the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy and in partnership with other state agencies and state utilities, achieve a goal of ensuring all electricity consumed within the state of Wisconsin is 100% carbon-free by 2050. The Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy will be charged to promote the development and use of clean and renewable energy across the state, advance innovative sustainability solutions that improve the state's economy and environment, and diversify the resources used to meet the state's energy needs.
“A transition to a clean energy economy will generate thousands of family-supporting jobs in Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers. “Our state has a responsibility to current and future generations of Wisconsinites to act to prevent continuing damage to our climate and to invest in solutions that help to mitigate the changes that have already occurred.”
Continuing his commitment to skilled environmental stewardship, Governor Larry Hogan announced new initiatives to promote clean and renewable energy projects in Maryland.
Governor Hogan signed Executive Order 01.01.2019.09, establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting, which will work to develop consensus-based recommendations on the siting of new solar and wind energy projects in the state. To jumpstart that process, the governor announced new initiatives aimed at advancing solar energy deployment and development on state-managed and -owned properties.
In May, Governor Hogan outlined a bold energy strategy to set Maryland on a path to 100% clean electricity by 2040. The governor plans to submit the Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) plan to the General Assembly on the first day of the 2020 legislative session.
State-led climate goals — like Washington’s — will lead the way: Governor Inslee, Hilary Franz (Washington Commissioner of Public Lands), and Mike Kreidler (Washington state's insurance commissioner) published an op-ed in the Seattle Times in response to the new report released by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that focuses on the effects of climate change on our lands and people.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California continued to fall ahead of schedule in 2017 as the state’s economy grew ahead of the national average, according to the California Air Resources Board’s latest state inventory of climate-changing emissions.
The data also shows that for the first time since California started to track GHG emissions, the state power grid used more energy from zero-GHG sources like solar and wind power than from electrical generation powered by fossil fuels. In addition, the data demonstrates that emissions from the transportation sector did not rise as fast as in previous years.
“California is proving that smart climate policies are good for our economy and good for the planet,” said Governor Newsom. “As the Trump Administration attempts to obliterate national climate protections, California will continue advancing the cause of American climate leadership.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and several state departments announced new efforts to lead by example on environmental sustainability across state government.
“I have directed Departments to implement more sustainable practices in state buildings and reduce energy usage where possible,” said Whitmer. “These steps are a win-win for the environment and taxpayers. By improving our government’s environmental footprint while lowering energy costs we’re able to prove that sustainable practices can and will work across our state from rural, forested locations to downtown Detroit.”
These pilot programs are the first step towards putting state departments on a path that will make government facilities more sustainable while addressing real-time issues like climate change. Specific actions to further sustainability include:
Sprint to develop and implement best practices for sustainability in State facilities.
Department of Natural Resources converting State parks and fish hatcheries to renewable energy.
Department of Corrections working toward green prisons.
The California Air Resources Board announced the launch of a new $40 million program designed to accelerate the purchase and use of zero-emission off-road freight technologies. The “Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project” (CORE) will feature a streamlined voucher process for buyers to receive funding that will offset the higher costs of clean, zero-emission equipment including terminal tractors, transport refrigeration units, cargo-handling equipment and more.
“Forward-thinking, savvy business owners will want to take advantage of CORE because it will enable them to replace their dirty older equipment and get the cleanest, most advanced models available for about the same price as the diesel- or gas-powered version. The result is equipment that saves businesses on fuel costs and has zero tailpipe emissions—a winner for the pocketbook and the community,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard W. Corey.
Under the CORE program a business owner could receive $180,000 to cover the difference between a zero-emission tractor and one that is powered by diesel. The program also encourages deployment of cleaner technology in disadvantaged communities by providing up to 10 percent higher incentives for zero-emission equipment that will be used in these areas.
Governor Tom Wolf announced that 34 cleaner energy transportation projects will receive $8,489,844 in Driving PA Forward grants and rebates. Funded by Pennsylvania’s share of the settlement with Volkswagen Group of America for cheating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions tests, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is committing funding for an extensive range of clean energy transportation projects on our roads, at schools, and at marine ports and airports.
“The funding awarded from the VW emission cheating scandal is helping Pennsylvania reduce transportation pollution statewide and will help continue our efforts to improve air quality throughout the commonwealth,” said Governor Wolf.
By replacing older, polluting engines with new technologies, the projects over their lifetimes are expected to prevent emission of 503 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 130 tons of carbon monoxide, 238 tons of carbon dioxide, 59 tons of hydrocarbons, 30 tons of fine particulate matter, and a half-ton of coarse particulate matter.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $2.3 million will be awarded to 24 farms across the state through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program. Launched by the Governor in 2015, the program helps farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and address the impacts of extreme weather events resulting from climate change. Through four rounds of funding to date, the state has provided $8 million to assist farms across New York State.
"Extreme weather conditions caused by climate change are unfortunately becoming increasingly common," Governor Cuomo said. "The results can be devastating to New York State's farmers, who are on the front lines and must deal with heavy rains, drought, extreme cold and heat waves, all of which can damage crops and farmland. These funds will help farmers prepare for and deal with the effects of extreme weather."
Awarded Round 4 projects in Central New York, Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, Hudson Valley, Southern Tier, North Country, and Western New York regions focus on Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance soil health and promote energy savings. Projects also increase irrigation capacity and emphasize water management to mitigate the effects of periods of drought on crops and livestock, as well as heavy rainfall and flooding.