Let's Power Ahead

We can accelerate the growth of clean energy, even in the face of Congressional inaction. Smart solutions—and real leadership—are now at hand in states across America.
Photo: Wayne National Forest

States have the power to increase renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, and reduce the global warming emissions that are heating up the planet.

Some already are – addressing climate change with bold policies and smart, proven solutions.

Now the next wave of states is poised for action.

The urgency is unprecedented

Over the next few years, states must develop plans to implement the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. How they do so will affect their electricity systems — and global warming emissions — for decades to come.

At the same time, the growing consequences of climate change are increasingly affecting communities throughout the US, from sea level rise to increased wildfires, extreme weather to drought.

At this pivotal moment, states have a unique opportunity to lead the way on clean energy and climate by prioritizing the growth of renewable energy, reducing the carbon emissions that are driving global warming, and helping communities prepare for the climate impacts that have already been set in motion.

Image: iStockphoto.com/vinzo

When states lead, the federal government follows

Many states — including California and states throughout the Northeast — have already established themselves as leaders, enacting policies that increase renewable energy and energy efficiency, collaborating with other states in regional greenhouse gas programs, and incentivizing the development of more resilient cities and towns. State policies have helped nurture clean energy industries into booming businesses that drive economic growth, employ thousands of workers, and are increasingly cost-competitive with traditional sources of power like coal and natural gas.

Now, as states work to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, many more are poised to join the growing number of states embracing these practical, proven solutions.

In Michigan, for example, renewable energy can generate nearly a third of the state's electricity supply by 2030 at virtually no extra cost to consumers. In Minnesota, legislators are poised to increase their state's renewable electricity standard to 40 percent by 2030. Other states are working to develop an effective response to the growing risks of climate change, including rising sea levels in Florida and increased drought and wildfires in New Mexico.

Whether it's a stronger renewable energy standard in the Midwest, preparedness planning in the Southeast, a price on carbon in the Northwest, or an expanded greenhouse gas program in the Northeast, states can increasingly demonstrate the success of practical, cost-effective clean energy and climate policies — and steadily increase the pressure on Congress to take national action.

It won't happen overnight, but history shows that when enough states lead, federal action ultimately becomes inevitable.

Photo: William Manning/corbis

Fossil fuel interests will try and block progress

Accelerating the growth of renewable energy in states across America will reduce global warming emissions, improve air quality and public health, and move the country toward real climate solutions.

But ramping up renewable energy also threatens the interests of the fossil fuel industry and its allies, which are already fighting back with misinformation, false claims, and attacks on clean energy and climate policies.

State policy makers must instead hear the facts, backed up by robust analysis and technical expertise, that will put their states — and ultimately the entire country — on a path toward a safer climate.

To ensure this happens, our new "Power Ahead" campaign is gearing up to embolden more states to become clean energy and climate leaders. We know this will be one of the toughest fights we've faced — but working together we can move states, and the country, toward real climate and energy solutions.

Take action now!

Last revised date: February 23, 2017

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