NRRI

Clean Energy Policy Tracker

Clean Energy Policy Tracker

NRRI State Policies Tracker: Clean Energy and Climate Change Policies

Many states have adopted policies intended to meet commitments to achieve major progress towards greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and growth in the use of clean and renewable energy.

This map summarizes those state policies that have been formalized by legislative and executive branch actions to date. The table shown below the map lists each jurisdiction’s decisions that are summarized in the map.

Readers are invited to notify NRRI of any changes to be included in the Map and Table. Please email or phone NRRI staff with any corrections or updates.

 


Sources for map (Updated August 30, 2021): American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards [Web page, retrieved August 2021]; Clean Energy States Alliance, Guide to 100% Clean Energy States [Web page, retrieved August 2021]; District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment, Climate Action Planning [Web page], and Code of the District of Columbia, §34–1432 – Renewable energy portfolio standard; National Conference of State Legislatures, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets and Market-based Policies [Web page, updated 3/11/2021]; National Conference of State Legislatures, State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals [Web page, updated 8/13/2021]; North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Renewable Portfolio Standards and Clean Energy Standards [Map, Updated September 2020]; and United States Climate Alliance, Inventory of Climate and Clean Energy Policies—Policies by State [Web page, reporting 2019 status of states].

 

Summary of map data:

    Fourteen jurisdictions have goals that include by not later than 2050 both: (1) at least 75% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; and, (2) at least 75% of electricity production from renewable or combined renewable and clean energy production. Those states are designated with green shading plus green squares (100%) or circles (75% or more) on the map.

    Jurisdictions with renewable or clean energy portfolio standards but not greenhouse gas standards are indicated on the map with yellow shading. Four of those, indicated by blue squares, have the goal of achieving 100% renewable or combined renewable and clean electricity by 2050 or sooner.

    Many of the goals address not only electricity production and use, but also more broadly address greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels, heating fuels, and in some jurisdictions also industrial processes.

    Climate Watch, managed by the World Resources Institute, tracks up-to-date information about countries that have adopted net-zero emissions goals, by “law, policy, or high-level political pledge such as head of state commitment.” By August 2021, Climate Watch reports 61countries, representing 54.1% of global GHG emissions, have communicated net-zero emissions goals. 

    In addition, hundreds of cities and dozens of the world’s largest corporations, including fossil fuel companies and major U.S. utility companies, have made similar GHG and renewable energy commitments.

 

Jurisdiction1

GHG Policy2

Renewable or Clean Energy Portfolio Policy3

Comments & Recent Actions

Arkansas

 

Energy efficiency portfolio standard only. 

Under Arkansas Code § 23-4-422, public utilities (natural gas or electric) may propose and the Commission may approve economic development rates that meet certain conditions.

Arizona
(May 2021)

Under rules proposed May 26, utilities will have to achieve carbon-free emissions from 2050 to 2070, with interim goals of 50% by 2032, 65% by 2040, 80% by 2050, and 95% by 2060.

15% by 2025 (Arizona Admin. Code §14-2-1801 et seq., Article 18)

Commissioners voted 3-2 at its May 26 Open Meeting to advance an amended energy rules package that will move Arizona’s regulated utilities to 100% carbon-free energy by 2070. The vote comes after the energy rules failed at the Commission’s May 5 Open Meeting. As a result of substantive changes, the amended energy rules package will be sent back through the formal rulemaking process. All related documents can be found in the Corporation Commission’s online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov. Enter docket number RU-00000A-18-0284.

California

Carbon neutral by 2045

33% by December 31 2020, 50% by December 31, 2026, and 60% renewable energy by December 31, 2030. 100% renewable and zero-carbon resources, for retail electricity sales, by 2045 (California 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018)

 

Colorado
(June 2021)

Colorado
HB19-1261 of 2019
established goals of 50% emissions reductions by 2030 and 90% by 2050, from 2005 levels.

SB19-236 of 2019 provides for 100% clean energy by 2050 for electric utilities serving more than 500,000 customers in the state.

The RPS law, effective September 2021,  C.R.S. 40-2-124, includes standards for qualifying retail utilities (IOUs and PUC jurisdictional cooperatives) to supply at least 30% of retail sales, including at least 3% distributed electricity, by 2020 and thereafter. A lower standard of 10% by 2020 applies to smaller coops and to municipals.

More than two dozen new laws related to clean and renewable energy and GHG policies passed in Colorado’s 2021 legislative session.

·     SB21-264 sets GHG reduction requirements and requires “clean heat plans” for natural gas utilities; and,

·     HB21-1238 directs the CO-PUC to include the social cost of carbon and social cost of methane in cost-effectiveness testing for natural gas energy efficiency programs, and to set efficiency program savings targets that reflect all cost-effective and achievable natural gas savings potential. 

Connecticut

CT Gen Stat § 22a-200a calls for GHG emissions, “[n]ot later than January 1, 2050, to a level at least eighty per cent below the level emitted in 2001.”

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target of 40% Class I renewable energy sources by 2030. 100% by 2040.

Connecticut Public Act 21-181 sets new, higher standards for low-carbon blends of all heating oil sold in the state, calling for not less than 10% biodiesel by 2025 and increasing to not less than 50% by 2035.

The Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) is working under Executive Order No. 3 of 2019, to “monitor and report on the state’s progress on the implementation of carbon mitigation strategies, as well as on the development and implementation of adaptation strategies to assess and prepare for the impacts of climate change in areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, natural resources and public health.” GC3 published a “near-term actions report” in January 2021.

Executive Order No. 3 of 2019 also directs the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) “to analyze pathways and recommend strategies for achieving a 100 percent zero carbon target for the electric sector by 2040.”

Delaware
(February 2021)

26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025

2021 legislation, SB 133, was enacted in February. The new law resets Delaware’s RPS in annual steps, from 21% in 2021 to 40% by 2035. The RPS includes a solar PV carve-out of 2.5% in 2021, increasing each year until reaching 10% by 2035. The RPS applies to each commission-regulated utility or municipal electric company. The Commission shall establish rules “for compliance year 2036 and each subsequent year.”  

 

District of Columbia
(June 2021)

The Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 requires 50% below 2006 levels by 2032, and carbon neutral by 2050.

The DC RPS calls for 80% by 2029 and 100% by 2032. A solar carve-out grows each year. By 2041 not less than 10% of the electricity consumed in the District must be provided by solar energy that is generated within the District. 

The DC Act includes specific provisions for building energy performance standards and transportation electrification.

Current action plans include Climate Ready DC and Clean Energy DC.

The DC Department of Energy and Environment is soliciting input from District residents to develop its plans for Carbon Free DC by 2050.

Guam
(October 2019)

 

50% by 2035; 100% by 2045 (Public Law 35-46)

 

Hawaii
(April 2021)

Carbon neutral by 2045

100% by 2045

On April 29, in nearly-unanimous votes in both houses of the state legislature, Hawaii passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 44, “declaring a climate emergency and requesting statewide collaboration toward an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate.”

HB 552 of 2021 sets clean ground transportation goals for Hawaii state agencies to achieve a zero-emissions light-duty vehicle fleet by year end 2035. Starting January 2022, all new light-duty passenger vehicles shall be zero-emission vehicles.

SB932 of 2021 establishes “a clean energy and energy efficiency revolving loan fund to finance a broad range of clean energy technologies.” The fund will be administered by the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority.

Illinois
(September 2021)

In Public Act 102-0662 of 2021 the Illinois General Assembly proclaims that State policy includes “promotion of the development and implementation of clean energy . . .  necessary to combat climate change” (p. 67). The General Assembly also states, “[I]t is the policy of this State to rapidly transition to 100% clean energy by 2050” (p. 249).

The Illinois RPS, most recently amended in 2021, calls for both electric utility companies and alternative retail electric suppliers (ARES) to meet a standard of 40% clean and renewable electricity supply, by 2040.

In August 2020, Governor Pritzker announced Eight Principles for a Clean and Renewable Illinois Economy. Among other things, the Principles call for putting Illinois “on a path toward 100% clean energy by 2050” and to “electrify and decarbonize” the state’s transportation sector.

Illinois, under Executive Directive 2019-06, joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, which marks a commitment consistent with the Paris Agreement.

Maine

80% below 1990 levels by 2050

80% of retail sales of electricity from renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2050. (Maine Revised Statues, Title 35-A: Part 3: Chapter 32, §3210, amended by Public Law 477 of 2019.)

 

Maryland
(February 2021)

2016 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act requires 40% below 2006 levels by 2030.

28% by 2020, 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, comprised of 14.5% Solar Tier I and 35.5% Other Tier I resources (Maryland RPS Program Overview, from DSIRE database. Most recent update, May 2021.)

A 2021 report, the 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, calls for GHG reductions of “nearly 50% by 2030, and… net-zero economy wide… by 2045.”

Massachusetts
(March 2021)

Interim GHG emissions levels shall be adopted for each 5 years, 2025 through 2050. The 2050 limit will “achieve net-zero” and be reduced by  at least 85% below 1990 levels.

Sector-based GHG limits will cover electric power, transportation, building heating and cooling, industrial processes, and natural gas distribution and service.

Municipal lighting plants are also required to set GHG limits for all retail sales, achieving 50% non-carbon emitting energy by 2030, 75% by 2040, and net zero by 2050.

Renewable and Alternative Portfolio Standards. The RPS is set to 35% by 2030 plus 1% per year thereafter.

Massachusetts also has a Clean Energy Standard, first enacted in 2017.and a Clean Peak Energy Standard, first enacted in 2018. 

The Clean Energy Portfolio Standard reaches 80% by 2050. 

 

Massachusetts enacted “An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy.” Each 5-year GHG emissions limit “shall be accompanied by publication of a comprehensive, clear and specific roadmap plan to realize [the] limit.”

Several sections of the new law took effect in June 2021, 90-days after the March 26, 2021 signing by Governor Charlie Baker.

The new law (in §1A) directs the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), in its decisions, “with respect to itself and the utilities it regulates [to] prioritize safety, security, reliability of service, affordability, equity and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. . ..” The law (§19) also requires the state’s energy efficiency initiatives, known as MassSave to include in benefit-cost calculations “the social value of greenhouse gas emissions reductions.”

Basic descriptions of the new Massachusetts law can be found at: https://climate-xchange.org/2021/04/08/understanding-the-new-massachusetts-climate-law/#summary

Michigan
(April 2021)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-10 calls for economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050

35% RPS+CEPS by 2025 (Public Act 342 of 2016)

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-10 directed the State’s Office of Climate and Energy, to develop, issue, and oversee “the action plan for this state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition toward economy-wide carbon neutrality.” Executive Order 2020-182 creates an advisory Council on Climate Solutions.

On Earth Day 2021, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that “state-owned facilities would utilize 100% renewable energy by 2025.”

In an April 21, 2021, Order in Case No. U-20763, Michigan PSC determined that under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA), parties can bring evidence about climate change to hearings about pipeline siting and construction.

A February 18, 2021 Commission Order in Cases Nos.
U-20633 et al. directs utilities to file GHG reduction plans in future IRPs.

Minnesota (June 2021)

80% below 2005 levels by 2050 (Minnesota Next Generation Energy Act of 2007)

~30% by 2020 (for IOUs, differs by utility). (Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216B, §216B.1691, amended 2018.)

An omnibus bill that passed in Minnesota’s special legislative session in June 2021 includes several provisions related to renewable energy and climate action. Section 20 [216B.2427, p. 117 et seq.] is called the Natural Gas Innovations Act. The Minnesota PUC is authorized to approve cost recovery for five-year natural gas utility innovations plans which reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Allowable expenditures may include innovations research and development, pilot programs, renewable natural gas, carbon capture, district energy, power-to-ammonia, power-to-hydrogen, and strategic electrification. Under Section 27 (p. 139), the MN-PUC must also “initiate a proceeding to evaluate changes to natural gas utility regulatory and policy structures needed to meet or exceed Minnesota's greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals.”

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, in Executive Directive 19-37, established a Climate Change Subcabinet and Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change.

In March 2019, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced their One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy policy proposals intended to achieve 100% clean energy in the state’s electricity sector by 2050.

The Minnesota House Climate Action Caucus (58 of 134 representatives) introduced its Minnesota Climate Action Plan in October 2020. That plan calls for “a 45% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 . . . [and] a carbon free future by 2050.” It also includes proposals for “supporting communities statewide with resources to adapt to climate change and build local resilience.” 

In the 2021 legislative session, two new Minnesota laws were passed, which require GHG emissions analysis. The Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act requires GHG analysis and net reductions in state GHG emissions for utility energy efficiency measures that include fuel-switching. And, and Act amending Minnesota agricultural law requires that cellulosic biomass sourcing plans include detailed explanations of how greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced.

Montana
(May 2021)

 

RPS of 15% of retail sales by 2015 and each succeeding compliance year.

An RPS amendment passed in May 2021, HB0576, adds eligibility for qualifying hydropower resources.

A new law in April 2021, HB0170, defines “green hydrogen” and adds green hydrogen facilities and green hydrogen storage systems to a broad list of “new and innovative technologies” targeted for support (in Section 90-4-1001, MCA) by “state energy policy.”

Previous Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued Executive Order 8-2019, which created a Montana Climate Solutions Council and enrolled Montana as a participant in the U.S. Climate Alliance. Near the end of Governor Bullock’s term of office, in August 2020, the Council released its final report, which is the Montana Climate Solutions Plan.

As of July 2021, current Montana Governor Greg Gianforte
has not renewed Montana’s membership in the U.S. Climate Alliance.

Nevada

Net-zero or near-zero GHG emissions by 2050

Not less than 50% by 2030 from renewables and efficiency savings; and a goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 (Senate Bill 358 of 2019, NRS 704.7801 et seq)

 

New Hampshire

 

RPS, set in RSA 362-f, totals 25.2% by 2025. The legislation directs New Hampshire PUC to conduct periodic reviews of the RPS and submit reports to the New Hampshire General Court in 2018 and again in 2025.

 

New Jersey
(April 2021)

Global Warming Response Act of 2007 calls for reducing GHG emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050

25% by 2025; 50% by 2030 (set in New Jersey Public Law 48:3-87(38)(d)); 100% clean energy by 2050 (Governor’s goal)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy established the state’s Interagency Council on Climate Change in Executive Order 89 in October 2019. The Interagency Council (IAC) includes the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and 16 other state departments, agencies, and organizations. The IAC published its first draft of a New Jersey Climate Change Resilience Strategy in April, and invited public comment until May 2021.

New Mexico
(July 2021)

45% below 2005 levels by 2030 (Governor Michelle Luhan Grisham’s Executive Order 2019-003)

For retail sales of electricity in New Mexico: 40% by 2025; 80% clean energy by 2040 for IOUs and by 2050 for cooperatives. 100% zero-carbon resources by 2045. (N.M. Statute § 62-16-4, Amended 2019).

New Mexico Senate Bill 112 passed in March 2021 and takes effect starting July 1, 2021. The law creates a Sustainable Economy Task Force and Sustainable Economy Advisory Council. The new Task Force is attached to the economic development department. It is charged with “develop[ing] a strategic plan in fiscal year 2022 to transition the state economy away from reliance on natural resource extraction . . ..” The plan is to include policies to promote “new jobs . . . to replace jobs that rely on the extraction or development of natural resources.” The plan will also “implement the recommendations of the . . . New Mexico Clean Energy Workforce Development Study.

New York

Statewide limit on GHG emissions (with the exception of agricultural emissions from livestock) of 15% of 1990 levels by 2050.

Goal for 40% reductions by 2030 and net-zero GHG emissions “from all anthropogenic sources” by 2050 (CLCPA § 1).

70% renewable by 2030, statewide electric system zero GHG emissions by 2040.

Executive Order No. 24 of 2009 established a goal to reduce GHG emissions 80% by 2050, created a climate action council, and called for preparing a climate action plan.

New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 (CLCPA) sets the standards for the New York State Energy Plan renewable energy and GHG goals. The law, in
§ 75-0109, provides for the use of GHG offsets, under certain conditions.

North Carolina

40% below 2005 levels by 2025 (Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 80 of 2018.)

12.5% by 2021 and thereafter for electric public utilities, with lower goals for municipal and cooperative utilities (NC REPS of 2007, § 62-133.8)

North Carolina Climate Change Interagency Council produces annual status reports.

North Dakota
(June 2021)

 

10% by 2015

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has issued a call for North Dakota to be carbon neutral by the end of this decade. He included that goal in his statements to the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in May, and touted not “federal mandates or state regulations” but instead called for innovation. 

Governor Burgum continued and expanded on these themes in public reports of meetings in May and June with representatives of companies planning to build a clean hydrogen hub in North Dakota and with U.S. DOE Secretary Granholm and EPA Administrator Regan.

In the 2021 legislative session, North Dakota passed a series of bills with CCUS implications:

·     House Bill 1452 allocates $25 million to create a Clean Sustainable Energy Fund to support low-emission technology projects;

·     Senate Bill 2328 grants a tax credit of $0.75 per million BTUs of flared gas captured by an oil well flare mitigation system;

·     Senate Bill 2152 adds geologic storage of carbon dioxide to the sales and use tax exemption; and,

·     Senate Bill 2206 allows utilities to recover R&D costs for CCUS including “a reasonable rate of return on capital expenditures” and authorizes rate recovery plus reasonable financial incentive for PPAs for “a dispatchable on-demand generating unit, plant, or facility deemed to protect grid reliability.”

Ohio

 

8.5% by year-end 2026 for both IOUs and competitive suppliers. In 2019, the Ohio Legislature reduced the RPS from 12.5 percent to the current 8.5%.

Ohio law describes the Commission’s responsibilities for both electric and natural gas services, including directives related to achieving environmental mandates. The state policy calls for utility regulations that, “facilitate” the state’s effectiveness or competitiveness “in the global economy.” PUCO hears Economic Development Project (EDP) cases for both electric and natural gas utilities.

Oregon
(June 2021)

Oregon Global Warming Commission was formed by HB 3543 of 2007. That law, in § 2, calls for reducing GHG emissions by 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 75% below 2020 levels by 2050. The Global Warming Commission (as stated in § 5) includes, as an ex officio member, the Chairperson of the Oregon PUC.

Under Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-04, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is developing plans for implementing a “cap and reduce” program, slated to begin in January 2022.

Oregon DEQ is now developing rules to limit GHG emissions from fossil fuels, including transportation fuels and other gaseous and liquid fuels, including natural gas. DEQ has issued proposed rules for its Climate Protection Program, with comments due October 4, 2021.

Oregon HB 2021, enrolled in June 2021, is the Clean Energy Targets law. It calls for 100% clean and renewable retail electricity in the state.  Emissions reductions targets for retail electricity providers are: 80% by 2030, 95% by 2035, and 100% by 2040.

Oregon’s explicit renewable energy portfolio standard, set in Oregon Revised Statues 469A, is 25% by 2025, 35% by 2030, 45% by 2035, and 50% by 2040 and subsequent years . 

Oregon legislation that passed in 2021 includes:

·   HB 2021, requiring retail electricity providers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon consumers.

·   HB 2165, expanding electric vehicle access and transportation electrification, especially for communities of color, low-income, and rural communities.

·   HB 2475, allowing the Public Utility Commission to determine rates that protect low-income customers, and to provide more resources and financial support for advocates of environmental justice and low-income customers to meaningfully participate in PUC proceedings.

·   HB 3141, reducing the public purpose charge for electricity consumers from 3% to 1.5%, and allowing more households to be served with energy assistance and weatherization at a time of critical need.

 

The Oregon PUC is working to meet the directives in Governor Brown’s March 2020 Executive Order (EO) 20-04. See the PUC website for information about Oregon PUC’s proposed actions in response to EO 20-04.

The EO required the PUC and many other state agencies to consider efforts to reduce GHG emissions and their effects on impacted communities. Among many directives, the PUC is focusing on: (1) Whether utility portfolios and customer programs that factor in GHG emissions and costs will reduce risks and costs to utility customers; and (2) Prioritizing proceedings and activities that advance decarbonizing the utility sector using the PUC’s broad statutory authority. View the full draft work plan at: https://www.oregon.gov/puc/utilities/
Documents/EO20-04-PUC-WorkPlan.pdf

Pennsylvania
(June 2021)

80% below 2005 levels by 2050. The goal was set in Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Order 2019-01. The Pennsuylvania Climate Change Advisory Committee was established by the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act (Act 70 of 2008).

18% by 2021 (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Title 66, §2814)

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) initiated a rulemaking process, proposing the state will join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The rulemaking is in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s Executive Directive 2019-07 (amended June 2020). The rules propose that Pennsylvania CO2 Allowance Requirements would begin January 1, 2022. The proposed rules include a set of RGGI equity principles, for guiding investments of revenues raised through allowance auctions. Learn more from the PA-DEP RGGI Web Page.

Puerto Rico

50% within the next five years (The Puerto Rico Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resiliency Act (Act 33 of 2019), Chapter 1, Article 5(2). 

40% by 2025; 60% by 2040; and 100% by 2050, set in Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act (Act 17 of 2019), §1.6(4).

 

Rhode Island (April 2021)

2021 Act on Climate Law calls for 45% below 1990 emissions levels by 2030, 80% by 2040, and net-zero by 2050

38.5% by 2030; 100% by 2030 (goal)

2021 Rhode Island legislation raises the standard in state law for “all No. 2 distillate heating oil sold in the state”  found in Chapter 23-23.7, to at a minimum meet standards for B10 biodiesel blend and/or renewable hydrocarbon diesel by July 1, 2023, B20 by 2025, and B50 by 2030.

2021 Act on Climate Law was signed April 10 and takes immediate effect. “The state will develop a plan to incrementally reduce climate emissions to net-zero by 2050. The plan will be updated every 5 years and will address areas such as environmental injustice, public health inequities and a fair employment transition as fossil-fuel jobs are replaced by green energy jobs.”

A report issued by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), in response to Governor Gina Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-1, provides details about pathways and policies for meeting 100% of electricity demand with renewables by 2030.

Vermont

Goals for statewide GHG reductions are 26% by 2025 (2005 baseline); 40% by 2030 (1990 baseline); 80% by 2050 (1990 baseline). (Act No. 153 of 2020)

55% tier one renewables by 2017 and increasing 4% per every three years until reaching 75% on and after January 1, 2032 (30 V.S.A. § 8005)

2020 legislation forms a Vermont Climate Council and charges the Council with developing a Vermont Climate Action Plan by year-end 2021, and updating the plan before July 1 every four years thereafter. “The Plan shall set forth the specific initiatives, programs, and strategies . . . to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; achieve the State’s reduction requirements . . . and build resilience to prepare the State’s communities, infrastructure, and economy to adapt to the current and anticipated effects of climate change.” (10 V.S.A. § 592)

Virginia

SB 851 of 2020 calls for zero-carbon electric generation by year-end 2045.

SB 851 of 2020, sets a mandatory 100% target for electric utilities. Targets for Phase I utilities are 14% by 2025, 30% by 2030, 65% by 2040, and 100% by 2050. For Phase II utilities, targets are 26% by 2025, 41% by 2030, and 100% by 2045.

 

Washington
(May 2021)

Washington law (RCW 70A.45.020, 2020) requires the state to reduce statewide GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, then reduce by another 45% by 2030, 70% by 2040, and 95% and achieving “net zero” GHG emissions by 2050.

This goal is economy-wide, and includes the transportation sector. Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) has several responsibilities for electric utility participation in electric vehicles.. 

The state’s RPS is set at 15% of electric load by 2020 and thereafter. Washington policy (RCW 19.285.040) calls for qualifying electric utilities to “pursue all available conservation that is cost-effective, reliable, and feasible.”

Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act of 2019 (RCW 19.405) sets goals to “eliminate coal-fired electricity, transition the state's electricity supply to one hundred percent carbon-neutral by 2030, and one hundred percent carbon-free by 2045.”

Washington law also defines and includes provisions for renewable natural gas and renewable hydrogen (RCW 54.04.190). Washington natural gas companies may propose, and the Commission may approve, retail renewable natural gas programs. (RCW 80.28l.385), and all natural gas companies must offer voluntary RNG tariffs (RCW 80.28.390).

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a climate change legislation package on May 17, 2021. The package includes “the Climate Commitment Act, environmental justice legislation, a clean fuels standard and bills related to reducing Washington’s single-use plastic waste and hydrofluorocarbon pollution.” SB1526, establishes a cap-and-invest program. A Seattle Times article explains, the new laws call for net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by 2050, and establishes emissions caps for the state’s 100 largest emitters, covering about 75% of total state GHG emissions. 

Washington’s Energy Independence Act (RCW 19.285, 2007 as amended) declares that “Increasing energy conservation and the use of appropriately sited renewable energy facilities… will promote energy independence… stabilize electricity prices for Washington residents, provide economic benefits for Washington counties and farmers, [and] create high-quality jobs in Washington… .”

Washington law also directs the Commission to establish a “social cost of carbon” and use it in regulatory impact analyses (RCW 80.29.405). Gas utilities must apply the social cost of carbon “including the effect of emissions occurring in the gathering, transmission, and distribution of natural gas to the end user,” when modeling conservation program benefits. (RCW 80.28.380 and RCW 80.28.395).

Wisconsin

Governor Tony Evers’  Executive Directive #38 of 2019 sets a goal for 100% zero-carbon by 2050 for all electricity consumed in Wisconsin, and directs the state’s new Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy to “fulfill[] the carbon reduction goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.”

RPS of 10% by 2015 has been achieved and continues. (Wisc. Stat. 196.378)

The Commission’s mission statement includes “environmentally responsible utility services and equitable access to telecommunications and broadband services.”

Notes:

1    Jurisdictions with recently updated listings are shown in bold ink. Dates listed in parentheses after jurisdiction names indicate when the most recent legislative or regulatory changes were made.  

2    Greenhouse Gas (GHG) goals expressed in percent usually reference reductions in emissions compared to a particular baseline year. See links and sources to check and verify the details.

3    Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (CEPS) goals expressed in percent, unless otherwise specified, usually reference the percentage of annual electricity generation that shall be supplied using qualifying resources. See links and sources to check and verify the details.