August 16, 2015


As States Battle New EPA Rules, Some Make Surprising Progress on Emissions (Eric Pianin, August 16, 2015, Fiscal Times)

Long before the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Clean Power rule last week demanding a 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels, many states were whittling away at the pollution that contributes to global warming by closing old coal-fired power plants, switching to cleaner renewable energy sources and improving industrial energy efficiency.

While the efforts differed greatly from one state to another - and lacked the uniformity that can be achieved through a national standard like Clean Power - the states nonetheless demonstrated what could be accomplished without direct prodding from Washington.

The detailed analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a premier environmental group that supports the Obama administration's new regulation, found that 31 states have already made commitments that will significantly reduce their carbon outputs and 21 are on track to actually surpass the EPA's first benchmarks for 2022.

Moreover, 20 states are effectively more than halfway toward meeting their 2030 Clean Power Plan target, with 16 set to surpass those targets.

Related: Which States Get Hit Hardest by Obama's New Energy Rule?

"What it tells us is that this clean energy transition is already underway, and a lot of states have already made decisions that have started them down this path," Jeremy Richardson, Senior Energy Analyst with the UCS, said in an interview. "Our analysis shows that those states that have been leaders are actually really well positioned to comply with the goals that are set forth by the final rule."

What's more, some of the states that are in the forefront of trying to block the new EPA rules - including Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama - are well along in meeting the new federal targets, according to the UCS analysis.

...federal rules just force universality. Simply taxing the emissions though would be a better option.

Posted by at August 16, 2015 8:39 AM

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