U.S. Climate Alliance State Leadership
Highlights from recent Alliance state climate leadership announcements
- Carbon pricing
- Climate justice
- Congressional testimony
- Energy efficiency
- GHG inventories
- GHG targets
- Green bank
- Natural & working lands
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Power sector
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
Governor Northam today vetoed Virginia House Bill 2611, which would prohibit Virginia from entering into a regional program to reduce carbon dioxide air pollution from power plants. He also vetoed House Bill 2269, which would prohibit the Commonwealth from entering into a regional program to reduce carbon dioxide air pollution from vehicles and other transportation sources.
Illinois EPA launched a new webpage that provides information on Illinois’ progress in achieving U.S. Climate Alliance goals. They will be updating the page with useful links and information in regard to Illinois’ commitment to reduce GHG emissions.
New York state launched the Buildings of Excellence Competition for low carbon design and development. The Buildings of Excellence competition is a $30 million competition with $10 million being offered in each of three rounds. This competition will recognize and reward the design, construction, and operation of very low or zero carbon emitting multifamily buildings. These buildings are good for the environment, highly profitable, and will give businesses a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced their One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy – a set of policy proposals that will lead Minnesota to 100 percent clean energy in the state’s electricity sector by 2050. The policies build on the success that Minnesota has already achieved in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and increasing the use of clean energy resources to power the state while ensuring reliable, affordable electricity.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Great Plains Institute released Accelerating Electric Vehicle Adoption: A Vision for Minnesota-- the first coordinated attempt to outline a statewide vision for increasing EV use 20% EVs by 2030. The Vision describes strategies for achieving the goal of powering 20 percent of the light-duty cars in the state with electricity by 2030.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released the state Greenhouse Gas Inventory requested by Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 80. The inventory contains a detailed accounting of greenhouse gases from human activity in key source categories from 1990 to 2017, including both emissions and reductions. The inventory also projects North Carolina’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2018 to 2030 based on forecasted changes in fuel use, land use, population, historical trends, and other factors.
On Feb. 7th, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the introduction of The Energy Transition Act which sets a statewide renewable energy standard of 50% by 2030 for New Mexico investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives and a goal of 80% by 2040 that investor-owned utilities must meet, subject to cost and reliability considerations. In addition, the bill sets zero-carbon resources standards for investor-owned utilities by 2045 and rural electric cooperatives by 2050. The bill also establishes a pathway for an energy transition in the Four Corners area while providing relief to workers in San Juan County affected by the closure of coal units.
Governors Baker (MA) and Cooper (NC) testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in Washington, D.C. to discuss what Massachusetts and North Carolina are doing to address climate change at the first congressional hearing on climate change in over eight years. Live video of the hearing can be found here.
New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham signed an executive order committing New Mexico to essential climate change action, ordering:
o The creation of a New Mexico Climate Change Task Force, which will provide strategic direction for achieving a statewide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris goals.
o State agencies to work with key stakeholders and legislatures to increase New Mexico’s renewable portfolio standard and energy efficiency standards for electric utilities.
o State agencies to develop a statewide, enforceable regulatory framework to reduce methane emissions and prevent further waste from new and existing sources in the oil-and-gas sector.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order that aims to accelerate widespread electrification of cars, buses, trucks, and other vehicles through actions like developing a rule to establish a Colorado Zero Emission Vehicle program, focusing all remaining eligible investments from the Volkswagen settlement on supporting transport electrification, and developing a plan that aligns transportation investments and programs with strategies that support widespread deployment of ZEVs and mobility options.
As part of the State of the State, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the most aggressive clean energy targets in the nation under New York's Green New Deal – a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda.
Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. announced their intent to design a new regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels, and invest proceeds from the program into low-carbon and more resilient transportation infrastructure.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the final set of recommendationsfrom the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3), which will establish a sustainable path for achieving Connecticut’s long-term vision for decarbonizing our economy in order to address the problem of human-induced climate change. The policy recommendations are focused on three broad objectives: zero-carbon electricity generation; clean transportation; and clean, efficient, and resilient buildings.
Fulfilling his pledge to restore New Jersey to a national leadership role in the fight against climate change and sea-level rise, Governor Phil Murphy today announced that the Department of Environmental Protection has formally proposed two rules that will steer New Jersey’s re-entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled his "2019 Justice Agenda," urging the legislature to act in the first 100 days of the next legislative session, including to Launch the Green New Deal so that New York will be the most progressive state in the nation in moving to renewables and growing the new sustainable green economy. The Green New Deal will make New York's electricity 100% carbon neutral by 2040 and put the state on the path to eliminating its carbon footprint.
The California Air Resources Board approved a first-of-its-kind regulation in the United States that sets a statewide goal for public transit agencies to gradually transition to 100 percent zero-emission bus fleets by 2040.
Massachusetts’ Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth released its two-part report on transportation needs and challenges facing the Commonwealth between 2020 and 2040. The Commission was established by Executive Order No. 579, signed by Governor Charlie Baker in January 2018, to provide recommendations to the Baker-Polito Administration on how to best account for potential changes in transportation in the future.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, along with Democratic legislators and climate action supporters, unveiled a plan that would launch a dramatic reduction of Washington state’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years.
Gov. John Hickenlooper today joined the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the Coalition for Green Capital to launch the Colorado Clean Energy Fund. This fund is part of the implementation of the Colorado Climate Plan, which was updated in 2018. The nonprofit Colorado Clean Energy Fund will bring the “green bank” model to Colorado, drawing on the success of institutions in other states such as NY Green Bank and Connecticut Green Bank. Green banks use mission-driven financing to leverage private investment in clean energy projects like community solar and energy efficiency.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced funding for six pilot projects in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys designed to demonstrate the collection of biomethane from dairy digesters and its injection into natural gas pipelines. The production of biomethane from organic waste products, including animal manure, eliminates significant emissions of methane to the atmosphere.
Hawaii’s Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission recognized that ground transportation contributes significantly to Hawai‘i’s share of greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission supports mechanisms to reduce overall vehicle miles traveled as well as converting all remaining vehicle-based ground transportation to renewable, zero-emission fuels and technologies. The Commission believes that putting a price on carbon is the most effective single action that will achieve Hawaii’s ambitious and necessary emissions reduction goals.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced the Puerto Rico Pledge for Climate Change, a historic initiative that aims to combat climate change and create a more environmentally sustainable island. Among the measures being undertaken by the Puerto Rico government, Governor Rosselló emphasized the urgent need to transform the antiquated power grid into a modern, resilient energy network, with a long-term goal of depending only on renewable sources by year 2050.
Colorado’s Colorado Air Quality Control Commission approved new low emission vehicle (LEV) standards for new light-duty and medium-duty motor vehicles sold in Colorado beginning in the 2022 model year. The new standards are estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 2 million tons annually by 2030.
Governor Ralph Northam signed a sweeping executive order to bolster Virginia’s resilience to sea level rise and natural hazards. The Executive Order lays out steps Virginia’s government will undertake to lead by example and ensure its facilities and holdings are resilient. In addition, it creates a series of reviews and planning efforts that will benefit the citizens, local governments, regions, public, and private property.
Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia will invest $14 million, or 15 percent, of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to fund the deployment of all-electric transit buses across Virginia.
Governor Roy Cooper today issued Executive Order No. 80 highlighting North Carolina’s commitment to fight climate change and lead North Carolina’s transition to a clean energy economy. The order affirms North Carolina’s commitment to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by 2025. Additionally, the order calls for an increase in registered, zero-emission vehicles (“ZEVs”) in North Carolina to at least 80,000 and a 40% reduction in energy consumption in state-owned buildings. The order creates the North Carolina Climate Change Interagency Council, which includes a representative from every state cabinet agency, to make changes happen.
To demonstrate their commitment to lead, Connecticut, Maryland and New York announced their intention to propose regulations in 2019 to prohibit the use of high-warming HFCs, consistent with the 2015 and 2016 EPA SNAP Rules. These proposed regulations will be substantially consistent across these states and with the regulations recently adopted in California.
Governor Ralph Northam announced a series of actions to help Virginia better address the impacts of carbon pollution from fossil fuels, including the development of a framework to limit methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure and landfills. To this end, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will establish a workgroup of environmental, academic and business stakeholders within the next 120 days to support DEQ in its collection and evaluation of data to inform the regulation development process.