With CPP in Limbo, States and D.C. Continue Efforts to Cut Emissions

Oral arguments for challenges to the CPP may still be nearly a month away, but new plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions continue to arise.  Several states and the District of Columbia are moving forward with their own efforts to address carbon emissions through legislative and executive action.

  • California – In addition to being the first state to release a draft of its proposed CPP compliance plan, last week California’s legislature passed Senate Bill 32.  Previously, California had set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, but Senate Bill 32 would extend that by setting a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.  A part of this bill requires that a companion bill, which would establish transparency and equity standards for the California Air Resources Board, must also be passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor before Senate Bill 32 can take effect.
  • Colorado – The Denver Business Journal obtained a draft document indicating that Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is considering an executive order that would require reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.  The draft would call on Colorado state agencies to achieve at least a 25% reduction in emission cuts from the power sector by 2025, compared to 2012 levels, and a 35% reduction by 2030.  While Colorado is one of the states challenging the CPP, that action was undertaken by the state’s attorney general, who belongs to a different party than its governor.
  • District of Columbia – Last month, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed legislation, unanimously passed by the D.C. Council, to increase and extend its renewable portfolio standard.  Previously, D.C.’s target had been 20% by 2020, and the new target is 50% by 2032.  The legislation also includes a solar-specific target of 5% by 2032 (previously, the solar-specific target had been 2.5% by 2023).
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