Climate Change: State Policy Update 2011

Read the full update from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In January 2011, a rule giving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act took effect. As this federal initiative emerged, many states responded by considering or adopting resolutions and legislation that reflect their concerns with EPA’s efforts. Most often, states have introduced and passed resolutions requesting EPA to delay or postpone rule implementation or for Congress to impose a moratorium on EPA’s regulatory actions related to greenhouse gas emissions. Some states have also considered bills and resolutions urging Congress to support the new rules.

Although EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions has been the focus of state climate change resolutions, many states are taking the initiative to create their own greenhouse gas limitations and reduction programs. State action was stronger in 2010 than in 2011, however at least ten states still considered creating programs to reduce emissions in 2011. A few states considered bills to repeal existing greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs. Policymakers in some states continue to introduce resolutions opposing cap-and-trade legislation, however there was less attention in 2011 than in 2010, while consideration of carbon capture and storage legislation remained about the same in 2010 and 2011.

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