The CSG West Canada Relations Committee discussed the Arctic Council and its importance to both the U.S. and Canada. Members also discussed how states and provinces play a role in mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as in emergencies such as fires and floods, independently and collaboratively through memorandums of understanding and compacts.

This Act requires the state department of community, trade, and economic development to implement a strategic plan to enhance energy efficiency in and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from homes, buildings, districts, and neighborhoods. It directs the department and the state building code council to convene a work group to develop the plan. The Act requires the state energy code be designed to accelerate construction of energy efficient homes and buildings which help achieve a broad goal of building zero fossil-fuel greenhouse gas emission homes and buildings by the year 2031.

According to The Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference staff, this Act generally creates an "Efficiency Trust" to develop funding sources to pay to weatherize all residential buildings and half of commercial buildings in the state by 2030, which is in line with the state‘s greenhouse-gas reduction goals.

The SSL Committee published a draft of Wyoming Chapter 30 of 2008 about Carbon Sequestration in the 2010 SSL Volume. This draft Act expands upon the Wyoming legislation by including eminent domain provisions about construction and operation of such a facility, including installation of pipelines to transport carbon dioxide. This Act also addresses long term liability by transferring ownership of such facilities to the state 10 years (or other time period adopted by rule) after a facility closes. Finally, the Act establishes a Carbon Dioxide Geologic Storage Trust Fund, funded by fees and penalties, to provide for long-term operation and maintenance of facilities.

 

States face a variety of challenges in the energy and environment arena in 2011, many of them long-standing issues that are now reaching a critical stage where action is needed to prevent worsening impacts. Many, however, also present an opportunity for states to stimulate job creation and create clean energy. Since many of the issues interlink, action taken in one area will often affect the others. Legislators will be looking at the electric transmission system, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, energy affordability and stimulating the new energy economy.

With freight demand expected to double over the next 40 years, it's more important than ever to consider the impact of freight transportation on the environment. This policy brief examines the opportunities for state government to enact policies, get behind federal initiatives and support industry efforts to make freight transportation greener.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will regulate greenhouse gas emissions for the first time.  Power plants and other large-scale facilities must use the latest technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to meet the EPA’s air quality standards.  States are required to modify their permitting rules or the EPA will step in and issue permits under the new rule.  Meanwhile, Congress prefers legislative action rather than command-and-control regulation.

Today, Sean Slone and I release our latest report, Green Transportation.  The report highlights several initiatives states are taking to green-up their transportation system, including developing alternative fuels and electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as adopting policies that seek to reduce the overall number of vehicles on the road.

Green transportation - transportation that produces less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline—is needed to mitigate climate change and reduce dependence on foreign oil. State and local governments are updating vehicle fleets to greener forms of transportation.

Transportation is the second-leading source of greenhouse gas emissions and constitutes a key target in the battle against climate change. But by taking a proactive approach, states can moderate its effects and reduce its impacts.

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