The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Monday to require big reductions in carbon output from coal-fired power plants. It may sound drastic, but advances in technology mean that some states are well on their way to meeting the administration’s goals. No state has made more progress than New York.
The proposed EPA rules would require states to cut emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. As of 2011, the last year for which data from the Energy Information Administration are available, New York’s carbon emissions were 23.5 percent below its 2005 levels. (The EPA rules would require New York to reduce carbon levels by a total of 44 percent by 2030.)
New York is one of nine states that are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a 2006 cap-and-trade agreement aimed at cutting carbon emissions. Those states hold auctions to sell emissions allowances and invest the proceeds in energy efficiency, renewable energy and other programs to cut emissions. Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maryland, all RGGI members, are among the nation’s 10 most-improved states.
Read more about this week’s Best State in America here, and check out some of the metrics we used to measure emissions performance below.