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States that are using policy to fight climate change

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Ohio Redevelopment Projects - ODSA // Wikimedia Commons

States that are using policy to fight climate change

As the effects of climate change reach an increasing number of ecosystems and communities, global discourse and debate on the topic are being turned into policy by governing bodies. The work to stall or even reverse climate change in the United States is most evident at the state and local level, as the Trump administration and much of its base continues to deny scientific data suggesting a correlation between human activity and expansion of the greenhouse effect.

To track each state’s efforts to combat climate change, Stacker has compiled data from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) State Climate Policy Maps. These maps illustrate where specific laws or initiatives have been enacted in order to curtail climate change, and reveal 40 states with concerted policies designed to curtail the effects of climate change.

C2ES organizes these efforts into five different categories. Greenhouse gas emissions targets set goals for reducing emissions for the sake of the environment. Carbon pricing functions through cap-and-trade programs and emissions taxes, incentivizing businesses to reduce their carbon footprints. Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards require energy companies to deliver a certain amount of power through alternative and renewable sources (particularly solar, wind, and nuclear). Decoupling policies implement economic changes that help energy companies sustain economic growth without negatively impacting the environment. Finally, low-carbon fuel standards are self-explanatory, with lower-carbon transportation fuels being enforced.

Did your state make the list? And if so, how does it rate in each of these five categories? Read on to find out.


RELATED: States that are conserving the most land

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zhangyuqiu // Shutterstock

Alaska

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: House Bill 306

A major energy and gas provider, Alaska is the state closest to the Arctic; and rising sea levels put the state's infrastructure, businesses, and inhabitants at risk.

Former Gov. Sean Parnell signed House Bill 306 into law on June 16, 2010, setting a statewide goal for Alaska to draw 50% of its electricity from alternative and renewable sources by 2025. Gov. Bill Walker and Democratic Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who defeated Parnell and Dan Sullivan in Alaska's 2014 gubernatorial election, are moving to create additional initiatives to combat climate change. These proposals include slashing state emissions by 2025 and taxing businesses for their carbon emissions.

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DBSOCAL // Shutterstock

Arizona

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Executive Order 2006-13

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: RPS

Decoupling policies: Arizona Corporation Commission utilities decoupling

Under Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat who later served as Barack Obama's Department of Homeland Security, Arizona made efforts more than a decade ago to set standards encouraging the reduction of emissions. These strides included a 2006 executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2020, and 50% below those 2000 levels by 2040. The state also passed new standards for power companies, requiring them to produce at least 15% of their energy from renewable resources by 2025 or face penalties. Studies suggest Arizona will face dangerous effects of climate change, namely from intense heat leading to deaths and economic losses. Other research predicts that if current heat trajectories continue, Arizona will be near-uninhabitable by 2050.

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Tom Brewster Photography // Flickr

California

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: SB 32

State carbon pricing policies: AB 398

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 107

Decoupling policies: Energy Savings and Performance Incentive

Low carbon fuel standard: Governor's Executive Order S-01-07

The country's most energy-efficient state, California leads the way in the fight against climate change. Many of the state's efforts have included improving and extending policies signed into law by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. With policies in all five categories set by the state, overall goals include reducing emissions below 1990 levels, implementing a cap-and-trade program, having an ambitious 50% of energy come from renewable sources by 2030, a decoupling program, and a low carbon fuel standard. Just this past September, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. The two leaders are committed to working together on reducing carbon emissions, despite what Brown considers regressive measures by the Trump White House.

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U.S. Department of Energy // Flickr

Colorado

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Executive Order D 2017-015

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 10-1001

Colorado's environmental policies have long-reflected the state's reputation for being a haven for progressive ideas. Former Gov. Bill Ritter staked a deadline of 2020 for Colorado to draw 30% of its electricity renewable sources. More recently, Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2017 signed an executive order pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state to 26% below 2005 levels before the year 2025. Local cities and counties throughout the state have additionally taken the initiative to sue energy companies such as ExxonMobil and BP for releasing emissions that thwarted these communities' efforts toward sustainability.

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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

Connecticut

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: HB 5600

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 7432

Decoupling policies: Electricity and Energy Efficiency Act

Though small in land mass, Connecticut has taken some big strides against climate change. These efforts include joining in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to cap and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, pledging to meet the reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels and produce 27% of energy from renewables by 2020, and implementing a decoupling program that offers performance incentives for energy-efficient offerings. Connecticut faces climate change consequences such as warmer waters, shoreline flooding, and dangerous storms. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy stated his commitment to the fight against climate change, despite President Trump withdrawing the country from the Paris Agreement.

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franco lucato // Shutterstock

Delaware

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 119

Decoupling policies: SB 150

The country's first state is one of several participants in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which includes provisions to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner in 2007 signed a bill requiring 2% of the state's power supply to come from solar energy by 2019; this has since then been revised to 25% by 2025 and 2026. Reports show 2017 was a record-high year for temperatures in Delaware, and studies indicate 11% of Delaware will be underwater by 2100 if climate change is not curtailed.

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Jillian Cain Photography //Shutterstock

Florida

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Executive Order 07-127

Several reports suggest Florida is the state most at risk from climate change, but the government has not responded to the threat at a proportionate level. Besides a 2007 measure by then-Gov. Charlie Crist to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050, C2ES has little information on any statewide efforts. Florida's major cities are most at risk from climate change, standing to lose extensive areas to rising sea levels. Rampant skepticism from Republican leaders regarding climate change has spurred local communities to take their own sustainable efforts.

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Hulabear // Shutterstock

Hawaii

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Global Warming Solutions Act of 2007

Decoupling policies: Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Docket No. 2008-0274

As a state comprised of several islands unprotected by the mainland, people living in Hawaii have warranted concerns about rising sea levels and more intense storms due to climate change. A 2007 act signed by former Gov. Linda Lingle mandated that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. Hawaii also implemented a new decoupling mechanism in 2010. Hawaiians are concerned about the large economic costs of climate change as sea levels continue to rise. Gov. David Ige made a commitment in 2015 for 100% of electricity in Hawaii to come from renewable resources by 2045.

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B Brown // Shutterstock

Idaho

Decoupling policies: Idaho Public Utilities Commission decoupling program

The state of Idaho has been particularly unwelcoming to the idea of climate change. Despite a 2007 pilot decoupling program (made permanent in 2012), few statewide measures have been taken to battle climate change. In fact, any mention of climate change science was erased from teaching standards in the state just last year. It took a vote this year from a Senate committee to restore climate change to the state's education.

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robert cicchetti // Shutterstock

Illinois

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Statewide greenhouse gas reduction targets

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Public Act 095-0481

Illinois joined ranks with several other states targeting reductions in greenhouse gases back in 2007 by outlining a goal to reduce emissions 60% below 1990 levels by 2050. By 2025, the state plans to draw 25% of its electricity from renewable sources, 75% of that being from wind power. While Illinois is less at risk from natural disasters or shoreline damage than other coastal or southern states, intense heat from climate change poses risks to the state's infrastructure by potentially reducing the lifespan of roads, bridges, and railways.

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Zeljko Radojko // Shutterstock

Indiana

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 251

Indiana created the Clean Energy Portfolio Standard for utility companies in 2011, calling on them to commit to a voluntary goal of drawing at least 10% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2025, offering incentives to participating businesses. Climate change increasingly affects Indiana with extreme heat and fluctuating weather extremes negatively influencing crops, and carbon dioxide levels making food grown there less nutritious. As a result, Indiana farmers are taking the lead in finding new conservation and agriculture methods.

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Justin C. Hilts // Shutterstock

Iowa

Renewable and alternative energy portfolio standards: Alternative Energy Production Law

Iowa made history in 1983 when it became the first state to adopt a renewable energy portfolio standard, called the Alternative Energy Production Law, which required the state's two utility companies to contract energy from a variety of renewable resources. Today, climate change poses threats to Iowa through heat waves and overall rising temperatures that lead to extreme weather. While local communities band together to combat and prepare for these changes, city governments work to improve infrastructure and state lawmakers are being urged to put money into conservation efforts.

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Melanie Hobson // Shutterstock

Kansas

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 91

Former Gov. Mark Parkinson in 2009 signed a bill setting mandates for renewable energy through 2020, with the ultimate goal for Kansas to draw 20% of its energy from renewable sources. Gov. Sam Brownback turned that mandated target into a voluntary goal in 2015. Meanwhile, extreme heat and natural disasters continue costing the state. Rural areas are experiencing hotter temperatures for greater stretches of time, and other areas throughout Kansas are consistently experiencing heavier rainfall and floods.

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Rik Schuiling // Wikimedia Commons

Maine

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Act to Provide Leadership in Addressing the Threat of Climate Change

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Act To Stimulate Demand for Renewable Energy (Act)

Maine's 2003 Act to Provide Leadership in Addressing the Threat of Climate Change set a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gases in the state by 75% to 80%. Maine is also a part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and has implemented portfolio standards setting goals for the use of wind energy, among several other sources, all the way through the year 2030. Maine has suffered several negative effects of climate change, with the Gulf of Maine counted among the fastest-warming bodies of water in the world. Ocean life is expected to suffer a steep decline from sea changes such as this, effectively decimating the state's seafood industry.

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Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon // Flickr

Maryland

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: SB 323/HB 610

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 1106

Along with also taking part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Maryland is aiming for long-term cuts in pollution. The state is pursuing a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. Lawmakers there also overrode a veto from the governor in 2017, enacting a bill that aims to increase the state's renewable energy portfolio standard to 25% by 2020. After President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement, many observed a "precious consensus" regarding climate change and the need to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

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robert cicchetti // Shutterstock

Massachusetts

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Global Warming Solutions Act

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Green Communities Act: SB 2768

Renewable and alternative energy portfolio standards: RPS Class 1 and II, Solar Carve Out I and II

Decoupling policies: Performance incentives

Massachusetts was one of the first states in the nation to establish a regulatory program to combat climate change, with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 pushing Massachusetts to the ambitious reduction of emissions by 80% before 2050. The state implemented decoupling policies that same year. Taking part in the RGGI, the state aims to draw 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. With chronic flooding on the rise, $120 billion in home values is at risk in Massachusetts.

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University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability // Flickr

Michigan

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Executive Directive 2009-4

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy ActOmnibus

Decoupling policies: Michigan Public Act 295

A 2009 Michigan law set emission reduction goals at 80% below 2005 levels by 2050, while an alternate energy portfolio standard aims for 15% of energy to come from alternative sources of energy. Decoupling was put into place for utility companies in Michigan, with the promise of performance incentives for energy-efficient programs. These statewide efforts are happening against a backdrop of significant temperature jumps; Michigan has experienced the 16th highest increase among the lower 48 states.

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Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Next Generation Energy Act

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Omnibus Energy Bill

Decoupling policies: Section 216B.2412

Minnesota has the long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% (based on 2005 levels) by the year 2050, with a 2007 bill mandating that 25% of Minnesota's power come from renewable sources by 2025. Xcel Energy, the largest utility company in the state, seeks to reach 30% by 2020. Recent changes in weather worry Minnesota natives, as winters have less snow and ice. However, a positive impact is the prospect of more vegetation. Some animals in the state will flourish and others will not, leading to a major shift in the state's ecosystem.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture // Flickr

Missouri

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Missouri Clean Energy Initiative

Voters in Missouri approved an initiative in 2008 to create a renewable energy portfolio standard, requiring utility companies to increase renewable electricity generation to 15% of total output by 2021. A small but noteworthy effect that climate change has had on wildlife in the state is the potential endangerment and eventual extinction of some bird species like the flycatcher.

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USDA NRCS Montana // Flickr

Montana

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Montana Renewable Power Production and Rural Economic Development Act

Montana's 2005 law mandating that 15% of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2015 set the stage for alternative energies like wind power to gain popularity. The state additionally extends extensive clean-energy tax credits to individuals. But while Montana has made progress, the environment continues to suffer the effects of climate change. Heat throughout the state has led to droughts, rising tree mortality, and threatens to damage the state's recreation industry. Higher stream temperatures are also negatively impacting fish.

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Bureau of Land Management // Flickr

Nevada

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: NRS 704.7801

Known for its casinos and deserts, Nevada has made little effort as of late to curtail climate change. While a previous energy portfolio standard was expanded on in 2005 and overall emissions dropped by 18% between 2000 and 2014, legislators representing the state have rejected environmentally minded laws even as Nevada faces a diminishing water supply and rising population.

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zaferkizilkaya // Shutterstock

New Hampshire

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: 2009 Climate Action Plan

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 873

The 2009 Climate Action Plan in New Hampshire set some short- and long-term goals from the state, including a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. As with the other states in New England, New Hampshire is a part of the RGGI and has mandated that 24.8% of electricity be produced through alternative means by 2025. Actions toward climate change have been a largely bipartisan effort within the state government, with a commission making recommendations for addressing the environmental issues at hand. Despite political differences, New Hampshire has a cooperative model that many other states lack.

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Helen89 // Shutterstock

New Jersey

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: A3301

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Renewable Portfolio Standard

Decoupling policies: Gas utility conservation incentive programs

New Jersey's long-term goal, set in 2007 with the Global Warming Response Act (A3301), is to limit the level of statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. A renewable energy portfolio standard has gone through multiple revisions and iterations, and gas companies are incentivized by a decoupling mechanism. New Jersey is one of the fastest-warming states in the country, with rising sea levels and health risks posing multiple threats to citizens. A changing ecosystem is also causing the population of beetles, usually kept in check by the cold, to expand. One of the many resulting efforts of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is related to pest control.

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Bureau of Land Management // Flickr

New Mexico

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Executive Order 05-033

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 418

New Mexico has the lofty long-term goal of reducing emissions 10% below 2000 levels by 2020, and 75% by 2050. The same administration under Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson mandated that by 2020, 20% of power must come from renewable sources. Reduced snowpack and decreased soil moisture is leading to an increase in wildfires and threatened water and land resources. Meanwhile, the extreme heat is thinning out the population of some bird species.

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zhu difeng // Shuttestock

New York

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: 2015 State Energy Plan

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Clean Energy Standard

Decoupling policies: Reforming the Energy Vision

The 2015 State Energy Plan, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, requires 50% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, which is relatively early compared to the targets of other states. That same year, Cuomo directed the Department of Public Service to create a Clean Energy Standard that would break the plan down into measurable requirements.  Climate change can have a potentially devastating impact on New York, with amplified damage from cyclones and hurricanes, and major floods occurring more regularly.

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Patrick Jennings // Shutterstock

North Carolina

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: S.L. 2007-397

Over a decade ago, North Carolina enacted an energy efficiency portfolio standard that states that utility companies must meet 12.5% of the electricity demand with the use of renewable sources or other energy-efficient techniques. Like other states on the coast, North Carolina faces the threat of rising sea levels, with the recent Hurricane Florence posing a particular threat. Lawmakers have largely ignored or denied climate change in spite of these facts.

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Tim Evanson // Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 1506

The goals of North Dakota were not too ambitious relative to those of other states, with a 2007 law establishing an energy aim of 10% of electricity being from renewable or recyclable sources by 2015. With extreme droughts and an over-dependence on rain, locals in North Dakota are being hit hard by climate change. Still, some locals aren't convinced.

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Ohio Redevelopment Projects - ODSA // Wikimedia Commons

Ohio

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 310

Decoupling policies: SB 221

Thanks to efforts from Ohio lawmakers, the state is pursuing 12.5% renewable energy by 2027. Additionally, SB 221 established an energy resource standard with goals for energy saving, allowing for cost recovery and decoupling mechanisms. Rising temperatures and potential impacts to local businesses have motivated researchers to come up with action plans for combating climate change.

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Chris Spannagle // Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 3028

Oklahoma set a goal for 15% of its energy to originate from renewable sources, with 25% of that being from energy efficiency. Global warming is putting stress on the state's infrastructure, with Native communities in particular at risk. Meanwhile, during colder seasons, tornadoes have become unusually frequent.

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Steve Wilson // Wikimedia Commons

Oregon

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: House Bill 3543

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 1547

Decoupling policies: Decoupling in three electric and gas utilities

Low carbon fuel standard: House Bill 2186

Not only is Oregon aiming to have 50% of its energy produced by alternative resources by 2040, but the state plans to completely phase out coal-fired electricity by 2035. Oregon is also planning to reduce emissions by 75% by 2050. The state has additionally implemented additional checkpoints in 2010 and 2020, with a shorter-term goal being 10%. The state is also working to lower the carbon intensity of fuels by 2025. Possibly due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, temperatures have risen at a slower rate compared to other states. Oregon is the second slowest state to heat up, making Portland a popular destination.

 

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U.S. Department of Agriculture // Flickr

Pennsylvania

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

Standards set in 2004 have put Pennsylvania on course to source 18% of its electricity from renewable sources. With a large farming industry in the state, the situation is urgent. However, some farmers are looking for adaptation practices that are also financially viable. Meanwhile, climate change will continue to affect the natural resources of the state, including trouts, plants, and air quality. The heat is also allowing pests such as mosquitoes and ticks to live longer, creating a public health concern.

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U.S. Department of Energy // Flickr

Rhode Island

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: Climate Change Action Plan

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 7413

Decoupling policies: HB 8082

The smallest state in terms of land mass in the country has taken big actions to combat climate change. Being a part of the RGGI, Rhode Island legislators set multiple goals for reducing emissions throughout the next couple of decades, with 75% to 85% below 2001 levels being the final goal. By 2035, standards aim to have 38.5% of the state's electricity come from renewable sources. To show how serious the state is over the issue, the attorney general sued a dozen energy companies for their roles in causing climate change last summer.

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Melikamp // Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 1189

South Carolina's Distributed Energy Resource Program is voluntary, with a 2021 goal of 2% of energy coming from renewable sources. Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement drew mixed reactions from state officials, with Republican lawmakers believing the agreement would have hindered economic growth. Meanwhile, tourist destinations like Myrtle Beach are being negatively impacted by rising sea levels because of climate change.

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Harry Weddington // Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: HB 1272

The state government of South Dakota has done little to combat climate change in the past decade, with one 2008 effort setting the goal of 10% of electricity being from renewable and recycled energy. Climate change has been affecting the state's economy, with rising temperatures thinning out cattle herds. A team from a South Dakota park tweeted out climate change facts not long after the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017. Those tweets were subsequently deleted.

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Leaflet // Wikimedia Commons

Texas

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 20

Climate change has caused damage to Texas, but the Lone Star State has done little to fight the effects since a 2005 measure to increase the generation of renewable energy. While the state hit some targets to produce energy through renewable, non-wind mechanisms, Texas is still largely in danger from rising temperatures. Summers are hotter, droughts are prominent, and the economy will certainly be affected.

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Lawrence Jackson // Official White House photo

Utah

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 202

After introducing the Energy Resource and Carbon Emission Reduction Initiative in 2008, the state government of Utah took some time until it recognized the danger of climate change. The state has been rendered dry even after brutal winter storms and freezing temperatures. Precipitation is coming in the form of rain instead of snow, leading to flooding and runoff. Luckily for the state, a group of teenagers spearheaded a campaign to get the state legislature to recognize climate change in May 2018.

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SayCheeeeeese // Wikimedia Commons

Vermont

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: S. 259

State carbon pricing policies: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Renewable Energy Standards

Decoupling policies: Vermont Public Service Board extension of utility regulations

Vermont has been active in the fight against climate change, with a 2006 law targeting the year 2050 for reducing emissions by 75%, its participation in the RGGI, and its efforts to have 76% of electricity come from renewable sources by 2032. Vermont is among the states heating up faster than others in the country, and climate change has damaged certain industries like maple sugaring. Gov. Phil Scott was criticized for stating in 2017 that climate change could be an "economic boon" for the state.

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USDA // Flickr

Virginia

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: SB 1416

Decoupling policies: Natural Gas Conservation and Ratemaking Efficiency Act

Virginia has a voluntary goal in place for transitioning to renewable energy sources, with the goal being 12% by 2022. Decoupling mechanisms are in place for gas companies to implement conservation and efficiency plans. However, climate change is causing health problems in the state, with heat waves leading to illnesses and death.

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Robert Ashworth // Wikimedia Commons

Washington

Greenhouse gas emissions targets: SB6001

State carbon pricing policies: Clean Air Rule

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Initiative 937

Decoupling policies: UTC's distributed energy resource planning

The state of Washington has warmed the slowest out of the other states, putting it in a unique position. Lawmakers and the state government have made strides in the past decade, including a reduction of statewide emissions (50% below 1990 levels by 2050), a Clean Air Rule to cap greenhouse gas emissions, and ballot initiatives that hold utility companies accountable for setting renewable energy standards. Still, flooding has caused some people like the Hoh natives to leave their reservation.

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Kenueone // Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin

Renewable and alternate energy portfolio standards: Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act

Decoupling policies: Wisconsin Public Service Commission decoupling program

A 2006 act set a goal for Wisconsin to draw 10% of its energy production from renewable sources by 2015, and a decoupling program was implemented in 2009 for electric and gas companies. Like most states, frequent floods and lower snowfalls are prominent in Wisconsin, but some farmers and citizens are not concerned about the effects. As a result, recreational activities such as fishing are taking a major hit.

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