WASHINGTON (August 13, 2015)—Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released an updated version of its “States of Progress” analysis, showing how far states are toward meeting their 2022 and 2030 emissions goals under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan.
According to the analysis, the majority of states, 31, have already made commitments—such as carbon caps, mandatory renewable electricity and energy efficiency standards, and announced coal plant closures—that will put them more than halfway toward meeting their 2022 Clean Power Plan benchmark, with 21 of these states set to surpass it. Similarly, 20 states are on track to be more than halfway toward meeting their 2030 Clean Power Plan target, with 16 states set to surpass it.
“Our analysis highlights that the emissions targets in the final Clean Power Plan are achievable,” said Jeremy Richardson, senior energy analyst at UCS and co-author of the analysis. “In fact, many states can go even further than required by the Clean Power Plan in cutting their emissions, and should do so. Accelerating our transition to clean energy is good for our economy and our climate goals.”
Key findings from the analysis include:
- 31 states are already on track to be more than halfway toward meeting their 2022 Clean Power Plan benchmarks, with 21 set to surpass it. The 31 states are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.
- 20 states are already on track to be more than halfway toward meeting their 2030 Clean Power Plan target, with 16 set to surpass it. The 20 states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
- Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are expected to sue the EPA over the Clean Power Plan despite being on track to exceed their 2022 benchmarks. In fact, South Carolina is even on track to exceed its 2030 target. Likewise, Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, Ohio, and Wisconsin are also expected to sue even though they are making good progress toward Clean Power Plan compliance.
For more information on the national findings and methodology for the research, see Richardson’s latest blog post.
The analysis also shows that all nine mid-Atlantic states that form the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional cap-and-trade program to reduce power plant carbon pollution, are on track collectively to exceed both their 2022 and 2030 targets.
“This data confirms what I learned first-hand as the former RGGI chair, that states can cut carbon pollution and grow their economies more easily if they work with their neighbors rather than going it alone,” said UCS President Ken Kimmell. “Given that our electricity market crosses state lines, it’s only logical that the best way for states to reliably and affordable comply with the EPA plan is through a regional approach.”
All “States of Progress” materials can be found here.