Climate Change

Carbon markets are an essential component of cap-and-trade programs that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using a market-based approach.  Even if the U.S. does not commit to a cap-and-trade program, voluntary markets and regional markets will continue to expand.

As the demand for alternative fuel vehicles increases, the government and private-sector interest in developing an electric plug-in-powered automobile grows.  This brief explores some of the technology's basics and the policy obstacles to implementation.

Effective management of water resources is critical to the economic sustainability and security of the U.S. Increased population, intensified use and climate change will continue to affect scarce water supplies. Governments, at all levels, will need to adopt collaborative strategies as our actions, or inactions, will have major repercussions on our ability to maintain our global competitiveness.

NOW, BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments supports each state developing policies supporting the capture, injection and underground storage of carbon dioxide while addressing issues such as experimental permits, trust funds to administer programs, and long-term liability; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments urges Congress and the Administration to act in close partnership with state governments and to support and supplement their policies to capture, inject, store underground and withdraw carbon dioxide for beneficial reuse or sale; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments strongly urges Congress and the Administration to support state efforts to store or find beneficial uses for carbon dioxide emissions by providing additional funding and incentives for research into carbon capture and storage technologies and underground storage capacities.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments calls on Congress to pass a federal authorization bill that provides short term funding stability, long term vision, strong federal funding and maximum flexibility to states in meeting transportation and infrastructure needs.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act creates a regulatory scheme for geologic CO2 storage. It directs the statedepartment of environmental quality (DEQ) to develop standards for regulating long-term, geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the state. The Act provides a list of specific information that is required in permit applications for CO2 storage injection wells. It allows the DEQ to issue permits for pilot-scale CO2 sequestration and storage projects under current rules and regulations. It also requires the State Oil and Gas Supervisor, State Geologist and Director of DEQ to convene a working group to develop an appropriate bonding procedure and provides a $250,000 appropriation for the working group.

Suggested State Legislation: Act addresses reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. The Act directs the state department of environmental protection to determine the baseline emissions level in 1990. The legislation also authorizes regulations creating a statewide and regional registry of greenhouse gas emissions and requires businesses and utilities which emit greenhouse gases to report those emissions to the registry.

NOW, BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that CSG strongly urges Congress and the Administration to act in close partnership with state governments as they establish a market-based approach to help the U.S. achieve GHG-reduction targets, while maintaining the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and industry in respect to foreign competition;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CSG urges Congress to adopt policies that involve all sectors of the economy and all sources of GHG.


Renewable Portfolio Standards have the potential to offset greenhouse gas emissions, diversify a state's electricity supply, and stimulate the green economy.  As a result many states are adopting and accelerating RPS policies.

CSG South

Daily, there are millions of tons of municipal solid waste deposited into thousands of landfills and other dumping sites, worldwide. The decomposition of organic material in these places—typically food and paper products—results in the production of methane and other greenhouse gases. Landfill gas (LFG) typically is made up of 50 percent methane (CH4) and 50 percent carbon dioxide (CO2), with small amounts of non-methane organic compounds often present. The methane in LFG is what can be burned off or used as an alternative fuel. Due to methane’s ability to trap heat, it warms the earth 23 times more than carbon dioxide and has an atmospheric lifespan of about 12 years, one much shorter than that of other greenhouse gases. Short lifespan, along with its high heat-trapping potential, make methane elimination from the atmosphere a particularly effective method of combating global warming. Many experts contend that LFG recovery projects that use methane for fuel have become effective tools for combating the effects of global climate change.