States' Reactions to EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards | 2015 State Action

2/19/2016

2014 and 2016

2015 State Legislation

In the 2015 session, legislatures in 32 states introduced 95 bills or resolutions related to the Clean Power Plan and power plants carbon dioxide emissions regulations. Specifically, 27 states introduced 64 bills and nine states enacted legislation (see chart below). An additional 19 states introduced 30 nonbinding resolutions and 11 of these states adopted resolutions (see chart below).

In regards to executive action, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued Executive Order 2015-22 in April 2015 barring the state from submitting a 111(d) state plan. Several governors, including Indiana Governor Mike Pence, have sent comments to EPA or letters to President Obama stating their state would not comply with EPA's regulations as they stand.

Note: All legislation discussed below specifically mentions the Clean Power Plan. Multiple states have debated legislation concerning the adoption of new administrative regulations, departmental appropriations or emissions reduction requirements, however only legislation that specifically names the Clean Power Plan is reviewed in this document.

Bills

This session, a number of state legislatures looked to establish their role before the release of final regulations. Legislation introduced in more than a dozen states, for example, required the legislature’s approval of a state plan prior to its submission to EPA; legislation was enacted in several states (see Table 1). Of this legislation, a portion completely restricted a state agency’s authority to submit a plan without legislative approval while other states required a state plan to be submitted to the legislature, but not require legislative approval.

Another area being addressed in legislation this session would require an entity such as an environmental regulator, legislature, committee or task force to develop an impact report or to study the regulations impact on affordable power, reliability, and consumers as well as the feasibility of compliance. Of the states considering this requirement, legislation has been enacted in at least five states. Introduced, but not enacted, legislation in five states would have prohibited state plan development until legal challenges to the regulations are resolved, while legislation in one state would have encouraged a legislative committee to employ legal counsel to litigate EPA. Legislation in six states, including a bill enacted in Arkansas, proposed creating a reliability safety valve against early power plant retirements. Proposed legislation in four states would have capped rate increases. Legislation in additional states would have required state public utility commission and FERC certification of state plans to ensure reliability. Legislation introduced in several states would have established public hearings on proposed state plans and a bill introduced, but not enacted, in one state would bar the state from complying with implementation. Introduced legislation in two states would have established market-based compliance options, including cap-and-invest and carbon credit systems.

Table 1 below displays summaries of enacted legislation. Table 2 displays summaries of introduced but not enacted resolutions.

Resolutions

Resolutions in 10 states encouraged a dismissal of the final regulations or a full exemption from regulations while resolutions in four states requested the EPA significantly modify regulations. Four states’ resolutions requested U.S. congressional intervention and one state resolution would have refused to implement any regulations. Resolutions in five states—including adopted resolutions in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri—supported their state agencies’ comments submitted to EPA on the rules.

Table 3 below displays summaries of adopted resolutions. Table 4 displays summaries of introduced resolutions.

State Reactions to EPA Regulations - 50-state map

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TABLE 1: Enacted State Bills as of Dec. 17, 2015

STATE

BILL

SUMMARY

Arizona

Senate Bill 1007 (Enacted)

Establishes the joint legislative review committee on state implementation plans for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA, with certain exceptions. Establishes factors to be considered in reviewing the state plan. Tasks state entities with the role of developing or consulting on a state plan.

Arkansas

Senate Bill 183 (Enacted)

States the submission of a state plan is the preferred method of compliance with federal emission guidelines. Before initiating any development of a state plan, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is required to develop several impact reports. Among other reporting, requires the Department of Environmental Quality to work in conjunction with the Public Service Commission to prepare a report on the regulation’s impacts to affordability, financial impacts, reliability and other factors. Requires the department to develop a report on electricity consumer impacts in conjunction with the Economic Development Commission. Requires legislative approval by the legislative council and the governor of a state plan before its submission to EPA, with certain exceptions. Establishes a rate and reliability safety valve for customer classes, including energy-intensive-trade-exposed industries.

Illinois Illinois House 3341 (Enacted) Clarifies that a “stationary source” does not include a building, structure, facility or installation causing emissions resulting directly from internal combustion engines for transportation purposes or from a non-road engine or a non-road vehicle, as it relates to the federal Clean Air Act.
Kansas

House Bill 2233 (Enacted)

As Introduced: Companion bill of Senate Bill 151.

As Amended: Authorizes the secretary of Health and Environment to develop and submit a state plan to EPA. Authorizes the secretary to implement the plan through flexible regulatory mechanisms, including the averaging of emissions, emissions trading, or other alternative implementation measures. Authorizes the secretary to enter into voluntary agreements with utilities that operate fossil fuel-based electric generating units. The Secretary and the Kansas Corporation Commission are required to enter into a memorandum of understanding concerning implementation requirements and responsibilities. Creates a Clean Power Plan Implementation Study Committee, which will hold informational hearings and receive updates from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the commission and the Attorney General about a state plan. Requires the secretary and the commission to submit information to the committee. Requires legislative approval by the committee of a state plan.

Minnesota House Bill 3 (Enacted)

Requires the Commissioners of Commerce and the Pollution Control Agency to submit a draft state plan to the committees with jurisdiction over energy and environmental policy for review and comment by March 15, 2016.

Missouri Senate Bill 142 (Enacted- Governor's Veto Overridden) Requires the department to submit any state plan for submission, to prepare a regulatory impact report and submit both items to the governor, the Joint Committee on Government Accountability, the president pro tem of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives before submitting the plan to EPA. Requires public hearings and a stakeholder meeting.
Nebraska

Legislative Bill 469 (Enacted), Legislative Appropriation 469 (Enacted)

Requires the Department of Environmental Quality to submit an impact report and hold a public hearing on the development of a state plan. Requires the department to submit the state plan and the impact report to the Legislature.

Legislative Appropriation 469 provides funds to implement Legislative Bill 469.

North Dakota

Senate Bill 2372 (Enacted)

Authorizes legislative management to conduct a study during the 2015-2016 interim on the impacts and costs of EPA regulations on carbon dioxide emissions for new and existing electric generation units. Establishes required components in the study, including reliability, ratepayer impact, feasibility and other factors. Requires legislative management to present the study and any recommendations to the legislature.

Tennessee

Senate Bill 1325 (Enacted)

Identical to House Bill 868 as introduced.

As amended: Requires the Department of Environment and Conservation provide notice of the development of a state plan and solicit comments. Requires the department to develop an impact report, with modified provisions. Requires the department to submit a state plan and impact report to the legislature and requires legislative approval of a state plan, provides for exceptions.

West Virginia

House Bill 2004 (Enacted)

Identical to Senate Bill 4 as introduced.

As amended: Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to submit a report to the legislature examining the feasibility of EPA regulations. If the department determines a state plan is feasible, the department must submit the state plan to the legislature and publish the report and any proposed plan on its website. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before submission to EPA.

 

TABLE 2: Introduced State Bills as of Dec. 17, 2015

STATE

BILL

SUMMARY

Alaska House Bill 138 (Pending- Carryover)

Establishes that the Department of Environmental Conservation is to develop a state plan. Requires the department to develop an impact report. Requires the department to submit a copy of the proposed state plan and the impact report to the legislature. Requires legislative approval of a state plan.

Alaska Senate Bill 57 (Pending- Carryover)

Requires the Department of Environmental Conservation to seek a waiver or exemption from EPA’s regulations, before developing a state plan. Requires the department to determine certain factors before submitting a state plan. Requires the department to develop an impact report. Requires the department to submit a state plan and the impact report to the legislature.

Arizona

House Bill 2657 (Failed)

Before initiating any development of a state plan, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is required to complete several impact reports. Requires the department to develop a report on the regulation’s impacts to affordability, financial impacts, reliability and other factors. Requires the department to develop a report on electricity consumer impacts, among other reports.

Arkansas House Bill 1962 (Failed)

Establishes that the sole authority to enforce a state plan under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act rests with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

Colorado

House Bill 1210 (Failed)

Modifies an existing requirement for the annual legislative review of new administrative rules that must be submitted to EPA. Establishes a requirement for approval of new state rules.

Colorado

Senate Bill 92 (Failed)

Requires Public Utility Commission approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA. Requires legislative approval by a two-third majority vote before a plan is submitted to EPA. Requires an impact report by the commission and the Department of Public Health and the Environment summarizing the plan’s effect on rates, reliability and the economy.
Colorado Senate Bill 258 (Failed) Requires Public Utility Commission approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA. Requires an impact report by the Commission and the Department of Public Health and the Environment summarizing the plan’s effect on rates, reliability, the economy and other factors. Requires legislative review of the state plan and impact report. Requires legislative approval before a plan is submitted to EPA.

Florida

House Bill 849 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to submit a state plan for legislative approval before its submission to EPA, with certain exceptions. Requires legislative ratification of other legally binding action of the executive branch of the state, including executive orders, policies or policy statements, guidance documents, and rulemaking related to section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

Senate Bill 1076 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to submit a state plan for legislative approval before its submission to EPA, with certain exceptions.

Illinois

House Bill 2607 (Pending- Carryover); Senate Bill 1485 (Pending- Carryover)

Directs the Planning and Procurement Bureau to establish a long-term renewable resources procurement plan. Includes provisions to encourage increased use of energy efficiency. Authorizes the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to develop a market-based or cap and invest program upon the release of a final federal rule.

Illinois

House Bill 3293 (Pending- Carryover)

Establishes a low carbon portfolio standard for all utilities’ retail customers and a low carbon energy credits system. Requires 70 percent of each electric utility’s annual retail sales of electricity to be from low carbon energy sources beginning in 2016.

Indiana

House Bill 1290 (Failed)

Nullifies all regulations imposed in Indiana by EPA beginning on July 1, 2015. Requires all environmental laws and funding to be determined by the passage of an act by the General Assembly.

Indiana Senate Bill 569 (Failed) Bars the Department of Environmental Management from preparing or implementing a state plan until all legal challenges are fully resolved. Requires the department to submit a copy of any state plan to the relevant House and Senate committees of the legislature. The committees are required to submit a report on the impact to affordability and reliability to the Legislative Council, the governor and the state budget committee. Requires certification from the Utility Regulatory Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that a state plan meets reliability standards. Establishes a reliability safety valve and caps rate increases.

Kansas

House Bill 2414 (Pending- Carryover)

Authorizes the secretary of Health and Environment to develop a state plan and a regulatory impact report. Requires the secretary to submit the state plan and impact report to the governor, the Senate president and House speaker before submitting the plan to EPA.
Kansas

Senate Bill 151 (Pending- Carryover)

As Introduced: Companion bill of House Bill 2233.

As Amended: Authorizes the secretary of Health and Environment to develop and submit a state plan to EPA. Requires statutory authority for the state to participate in an organized carbon trading market. Before developing a state plan, the secretary must hold a joint hearing with the state Corporation Commission and conduct a joint investigation. Establishes a Clean Power Plan Implementation Study Committee. Requires the committee’s approval of a state plan.

Kansas

Senate Bill 170 (Failed)

Prohibits the state Corporation Commission and the secretary of Health and the Environment from developing a state plan until all legal challenges have been resolved. Requires legislative approval of a state plan. Requires the secretary to submit the state plan to the Corporation Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to certify that a plan meets reliability standards. Establishes a reliability safety valve and caps rate increases.

Michigan Senate Bill 439 (Pending- Carryover) Requires the Department of Natural Resources or the Governor to submit the state plan to the legislature and allow for a designated period of time to pass before submission of a state plan to EPA.
Michigan Senate Bill 465 (Pending- Carryover) Requires the Department of Natural Resources or the Governor to submit the state plan and an impact report to the legislature and allow for a designated period of time to pass before submission of a state plan to EPA. Requires that there be no pending litigation by the state against EPA on the Clean Power Plan and all possible litigation has been completed.

Minnesota

House File 333 (Pending- Carryover); Senate File 231 (Pending- Carryover)

Requires the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency to receive legislative approval of a state plan before submission to EPA.

Minnesota

House File 639 (Pending- Carryover); Senate File 725 (Pending- Carryover)

Amends the prohibition on new sources of fossil-fuel generated electricity to include only those sources constructed in Minnesota, not imports, and establishes an exception for reliability.

Mississippi

House Bill 829 (Failed)

Requires the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, in developing any state plan, to prepare an impact report on affordability, financial impacts, reliability and other factors. Requires the department to provide the state plan and report to the legislature for recommendations.

Mississippi

House Bill 875 (Failed)

Requires the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, in developing any state plan, to prepare an impact report on affordability, financial impacts, reliability and other factors. Requires the department to provide the report to the legislature and the public through the department’s website. Requires the department to receive legislative and public comments.

Mississippi

Senate Bill 2571 (Failed)

Requires the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, in developing any state plan, to prepare an impact report on affordability, financial impacts, reliability and other factors. Requires the department to provide the report to the legislature and the public through the department’s website. Requires the department to receive legislative and public comments.

Missouri House Bill 215 (Failed) Prohibits the enforcement of any federal regulation by any state department or agency before receiving legislative approval. Establishes that any department or agency is not required to enforce any regulation promulgated by any federal agency.
Missouri House Bill 835 (Failed) Requires the department to submit any state plan for submission, to prepare a regulatory impact report and submit both items to the governor, the president pro tem of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives before submitting the plan to EPA. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA.

Montana

Senate Bill 236 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Environmental Quality to solicit comments from the general public and the Public Service Commission. Requires the department to consider specific factors in developing a state plan. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA, with certain exceptions. Requires notification of tribal governments.

Nevada

Senate Bill 438 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to prepare an impact report in conjunction with a state plan and to distribute the report to various state entities and electric utilities. Requires the department to hold a hearing. Requires the department to submit the state plan to the legislature. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA.

New Mexico

Senate Bill 630 (Failed)

Establishes a carbon credit oversight board and defines carbon credit rights. Appropriates funds for program development.

North Carolina House Bill 571 (Pending- Carryover) Requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop a state plan in consultation with the Environmental Management Commission and the Utilities Commission. Establishes factors that must be considered in the development of a state plan. Establishes a State Plan Advisory Board. Requires the department to hold at least three public hearings. Requires the department to complete interim and final reports.
Ohio House Bill 349 (Pending- Carryover) Requires the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct public hearings and prioritize least-cost approaches in developing a state compliance plan. Requires the department to submit a copy of the state plan to the legislature for review. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA, with certain exceptions.

Oklahoma

Senate Bill 676 (Vetoed)

Requires the Department of Environmental Quality to submit the state plan to the attorney general. Establishes provisions for the attorney general’s recommendations of the state plan to the governor and the legislature. Authorizes the legislature to approve or disapprove of a state plan.

 

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has issued Executive Order 2015-22, barring the state from submitting a 111(d) state plan.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1327 (Vetoed) Modifies legislation enacted in the 2014 legislative session (see 2014 State Action) to revise the timelines and process for legislative approval of a state plan before submission to EPA. Extends the time period for the legislature to review a state plan.

South Carolina

House Bill 3707 (Pending- Carryover)

Prevents a state agency from preparing a state plan before all legal challenges have been resolved. Authorizes the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to examine the implications of preparing and implementing the regulations, but may take no further action. Establishes a reliability safety valve that the Public Service Commission may not approve a proposal or order that retires a unit before its engineering lifetime if the unit is necessary to maintain grid reliability. Directs the Public Service Commission to cap rate increases associated with greenhouse gas regulations at one and one-half percent.

South Dakota

House Bill 1203 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Water and Natural Resources, if it elects to submit a state plan, to complete an impact report. Requires the department to submit the state plan and the impact report to the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council.

Tennessee

House Bill 640 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Environment and Conservation to provide notice of the development of a state plan and solicit comments. Requires the department to develop an impact report. Requires the department to submit a state plan and impact report to the legislature and requires legislative approval of a state plan, with certain exceptions.

Tennessee

House Bill 868 (Pending- Carryover)

Identical to introduced Senate Bill 1325.

Requires the Department of Environment and Conservation provide notice of the development of a state plan and solicit comments. Requires the department to develop an impact report. Requires the department to submit a state plan and impact report to the legislature and requires legislative approval of a state plan, with certain exceptions.

Texas

House Bill 190 (Failed)

Establishes provisions for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in adopting new environmental regulations. Requires the commission to conduct a regulatory analysis of the costs and environmental effects and benefits expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule.

Texas

House Bill 2080 (Failed)

Establishes components that the Natural Resource Conservation Commission must include when developing a state plan, including economic impact. Requires the plan to be reviewed and subject to public comments every five years. Requires the commission to submit a state plan and plan updates to the legislature. Requires collaboration among state agencies. Appropriates funding for implementation.
Texas House Bill 3069 (Failed); Senate Bill 1954 (Failed) Establishes that the Commission on Environmental Quality is the primary authority in developing a state plan. Authorizes the Commission and the utility commission to develop a state plan. Requires the Commission and the utility commission to draft a memorandum of understanding to clarify respective duties, responsibilities and functions that are not expressly assigned to any entity.
Texas

House Bill 3450 (Failed); Senate Bill 1404 (Failed)

Establishes notification provisions by the Commission on Environmental Quality to the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House regarding EPA regulations, permits, state emissions plans and other actions. Defends the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan. Requires to commission to develop an impact report on costs and benefits before developing any state plan.

Texas

Senate Bill 1432 (Failed)

Prohibits a state agency from implementing EPA regulations or developing a state plan. Prohibits a state employee from participating on a board, committee, entity or a study of a national organization that recommends provisions to implement a federal greenhouse gas emissions regulatory program.

Texas

Senate Bill 1761 (Failed)

Prohibits state agencies from developing a state plan until all legal challenges have been resolved. Requires legislative approval before submitting a plan to EPA. Requires the Commission on Environmental Quality to develop a customer impact report and to submit the report to the legislature. Requires the Public Utility Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to certify the plan meets reliability standards. Requires the commission and the Public Utility Commission to develop a memorandum of understanding regarding duties, responsibilities and functions. Establishes a reliability safety valve and provisions for retiring generating units and rate increases.

Virginia

House Bill 2291 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Environmental Quality to develop an impact report. Establishes factors the department must consider in developing a state plan. Requires the department to submit the report and a state plan to the legislature. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA.

Virginia

Senate Bill 740 (Failed)

Establishes factors the Department of Environmental Quality must consider in developing a state plan. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA. Establishes procedure for the department to revise a state plan for resubmission to the legislature.

Virginia

Senate Bill 1202 (Failed)

Prohibits any state agency from preparing or submitting a state plan to EPA unless the Corporation Commission makes certain findings in the final EPA regulations related to state requirements, nuclear generation, facilities currently in construction, interim targets, a safety valve, facility retirement, glide paths and other criteria.

Virginia

Senate Bill 1343 (Failed)

Authorizes the Joint Rules Committee of the legislature to employ legal counsel to represent the state in litigation challenging EPA regulations, if the Office of the Attorney General has not instituted and is not diligently pursuing legal action on behalf of the state.

Virginia

Senate Bill 1365 (Failed)

Requires the Department of Environmental Quality to develop an impact report. Establishes factors the department must consider in developing a state plan. Requires the department to submit the report and a state plan to the legislature. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before its submission to EPA.

Virginia

Senate Bill 1442 (Failed)

Prohibits the Department of Environmental Quality from expending funds to develop or implement a state plan until all legal challenges have been resolved. Prohibits the department from expending funds to implement a plan until that plan is approved by the Air Pollution Control Board. Requires legislative approval of a state plan and legislative approval of a state impact report compiled by the Corporation Commission. Requires the commission to certify the plan meets Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reliability standards. Establishes a reliability safety valve and provisions on unit retirement.

West Virginia

Senate Bill 4 (Failed)

Identical to House Bill 2004 as introduced.

As amended: Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to submit a report to the legislature examining the feasibility of EPA regulations. If the department determines a state plan is feasible, the department must submit the state plan to the legislature and publish the report and any proposed plan on its website. Requires unit-specific standards for generating units and authorizes flexibility in standards. Requires legislative approval of a state plan before submission to EPA.

 

TABLE 3: Adopted State Resolutions as of Dec. 17, 2015

STATE

RESOLUTION

SUMMARY

Alabama House Joint Resolution 205 (Adopted) Requests EPA to withdraw and reconsider the proposed Clean Power Plan. Supports the comments on EPA's Clean Power Plan submitted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the Public Service Commission and the Attorney General. Urges that the rule should include emissions reductions since 2005, including existing renewable hydroelectricity and should not penalize Alabama for having existing nuclear generation. Urges that the rule should have non-binding requirements instead of required reductions. Urges that if EPA does not withdraw the Clean Power Plan, the members of this body further urge EPA to allow additional time for states to develop state plans and to comply with the emission guidelines, requiring compliance no earlier than 2030. Urges a delay in federal implementation until all legal challenges are resolved.

Arizona

Senate Concurrent Memorial 1013 (Adopted)

Urges the U.S. Congress to oppose the implementation of certain emissions reduction rules for new and existing electric generating units.

Georgia

House Resolution 613 (Adopted)

Encourages EPA to withdraw the proposed Clean Power Plan and supports the comments submitted to EPA by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, the Georgia Public Service Commission and the Attorney General of Georgia. Encourages EPA to give states credits for emissions reductions beginning in 2005. Encourages EPA to establish nonbinding goals or extended timelines for state reductions, if a final rule is submitted. Encourages Congress and the president to enact legislation delaying implementation of the final Clean Power Plan until all legal challenges have been resolved.

Georgia Senate Resolution 449 (Adopted) Encourages EPA to withdraw the proposed Clean Power Plan. Supports the comments submitted to EPA by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, the Georgia Public Service Commission and the attorney general of Georgia. Encourages EPA to give states credits for emissions reductions beginning in 2005. Encourages EPA to establish nonbinding goals or extended timelines for state reductions, if a final rule is submitted. Encourages Congress and the president to enact legislation delaying implementation of the final Clean Power Plan until legal challenges are resolved.

Kentucky

House Concurrent Resolution 168 (Adopted)

Establishes a Federal Environmental Regulation Impact Assessment Task Force to study the potential effect of federal environmental regulations on the affordability and reliability of electricity generation in the state.

Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution 29 (Adopted) Urges and requests that EPA withdraw the proposed guidelines for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. Urges and requests that, in the event EPA adopts the proposed guidelines, the governor and the attorney general use every means at their disposal, including taking legal action, to prevent the guidelines from being implemented.
Mississippi Senate Concurrent Resolution 637 (Adopted) Encourages EPA and the president to withdraw the proposed Clean Power Plan and supports the comments submitted to EPA by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the Public Service Commission and the Governor. Encourages EPA to give states credits for emissions reductions beginning in 2005. Encourages EPA to establish nonbinding goals or extended timelines for state reductions, if a final rule is submitted. Encourages Congress and the president to enact legislation delaying implementation of the final Clean Power Plan until all legal challenges have been resolved.

Missouri

House Resolution 425 (Adopted)

Adopts the House majority floor leader’s filing with EPA as the state’s official position, urging EPA to withdraw its Clean Power Plan proposed rule.

North Dakota House Concurrent Resolution 3024 (Adopted) Urges the federal government to refrain from enacting regulations that threaten the reliability and affordability of electric power in the Northern Great Plains, including requirements for coal-fired power plants that are not achievable with current technology. Supports the efforts of the lignite industry to challenge federal regulations and develop new technology.

South Dakota

House Concurrent Resolution 1007 (Adopted)

Declares that the Legislature opposes the EPA's guidelines for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants and urges the EPA to withdraw the guidelines. Declares that the EPA's proposed guidelines exceed the EPA's legal authority under section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act. Urges the governor and the attorney general to use every means at their disposal to prevent the EPA's guidelines from being implemented.

Utah

House Concurrent Resolution 8 (Adopted)

Emphasizes improved soil health as the primary means of removing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Calls on the president of the United States to direct federal agencies that implement management practices that increase soil carbon sequestration to develop comprehensive plans that achieve the maximum amount of carbon sequestration possible. Urges the leader of each legislative house in each of the other states to implement improved soil health as the primary means of removing atmospheric carbon dioxide to the maximum extent possible. Urges all state agencies with authority to manage lands to increase soil carbon sequestration.

Virginia

Senate Joint Resolution 273 (Adopted)

Requests the Department of Environmental Quality to study the projected health benefits of the proposed federal Clean Power Plan in comparison with the projected health benefits of existing regulations. Requires the department to submit a report to the governor and the legislature by November 2015.

 

 

TABLE 4: Introduced State Resolutions as of Dec. 17, 2015

STATE

RESOLUTION

SUMMARY

Alabama

House Joint Resolution 43 (Failed)

Urges EPA to recognize the authority of states to regulate existing fossil-fueled power plants.

Alaska

House Joint Resolution 8 (Pending- Carryover)

Urges the federal government to exempt from the Clean Power Plan and empower the state to protect the state's access to affordable and reliable electrical generation.

Alaska Senate Joint Resolution 4 (Pending- Carryover) Urges the federal government to empower the state government to regulate its own energy production and use to protect access to affordable and reliable electrical generation for state residents.

Florida

House Memorial 949 (Failed); Senate Memorial 1228 (Failed)

Urges U.S. Congress to direct EPA to revise its proposed regulations that address carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units by extending the deadline for state plan submission to EPA, extending the interim and final goals and prohibit the retirement of units before their engineering lifetime.

Michigan Senate Concurrent Resolution 13 (Pending)

Memorializes the President, Congress and EPA to abandon the promulgation of currently proposed carbon emission reduction regulations that would lead to an unnecessary and drastic increase in the cost of electricity for the people of the state of Michigan.

Michigan Senate Resolution 53 (Pending)

Memorializes the President, Congress and EPA to abandon the promulgation of currently proposed carbon emission reduction regulations that would lead to an unnecessary and drastic increase in the cost of electricity for the people of the state of Michigan.

Missouri

House Concurrent Resolution 32 (Failed)

Adopts the House majority floor leader’s filing with EPA as the state’s official position, urging EPA to withdraw its Clean Power Plan proposed rule.

Missouri House Concurrent Resolution 50 (Failed) Urges the attorney general exhaust all available options to challenge EPA’s proposed regulations. Urges EPA to withdraw its proposed regulations.

Montana

Senate Joint Resolution 17 (Failed)

Establishes an interim committee tasked with conducting a study exploring the economic and ecological impacts of phasing out the burning of coal at generation facilities, phasing out the mining of coal and increasing the use of alternative energy resources in Montana.

Ohio House Concurrent Resolution 29 (Pending) Opposes EPA's regulations on the Clean Power Plan.
Pennsylvania House Resolution 259 (Pending)

Establishes a joint select committee on the implementation of EPA regulations. Establishes requirements for the committee, including developing an impact report that will be submitted to the legislature and the Department of Environmental Protection.

South Carolina

House (Concurrent Resolution) 3570 (Pending)

Memorialize the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Public Service Commission to adopt policies that preserve environmental quality under the Clean Air Act while refusing to implement a Clean Power State Implementation Plan.

Texas

Senate Concurrent Resolution 27 (Failed)

Refuses to recognize EPA regulations in the absence of congressional legislation. Urges congressional efforts to withdraw regulations. Directs state agencies to resist the implementation of EPA regulations. Directs state agencies against preparing a state plan before all legal challenges have been resolved but supports state agencies in exploring the impact of these regulations.

Utah

House Joint Resolution 19 (Failed)

Supports the state of Utah's response to Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan that requests EPA to withdraw its proposal.

Virginia

House Joint Resolution 608 (Failed)

Recognizes the state’s opposition to proposed EPA emissions guidelines for the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act.

Virginia

Senate Joint Resolution 294 (Failed)

Urges the withdraw of EPA’s proposed regulations for the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act. Requests the attorney general of Virginia to pursue all available legal actions in federal and state courts to challenge any final regulations by EPA.

Virginia

Senate Joint Resolution 308 (Failed)

Requests the Joint Rules Committee of the legislature to employ legal counsel to represent the state in litigation challenging EPA regulations, if the Office of the Attorney General has not instituted and is not diligently pursuing legal action on behalf of the state.

Additional Legislation of Interest

A number of states introduced bills or resolutions in 2015 that addressed greenhouse gas emissions without naming the Clean Power Plan as a motivation. These bills and resolutions—which are categorized below—sought to reduce greenhouse gases, to establish or join a carbon market, conduct an emissions analysis, study grid reliability, support coal-fired generation or expand renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in a state. For more information, please contact Jocelyn Durkay or visit our Energy Database.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emission Requirements: A number of states already have a detailed emissions reduction plan and several are looking to modify those requirements. Emissions reductions standards have been established as state goals or through market-based mechanisms such as a regional carbon market or a cap-and-trade program. In the 2015 session, legislation was considered in at least California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Oregon.

Multiple states have carbon dioxide emissions programs, including California and nine northeastern states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Additional states are considering taxes or fees for fossil fuels, carbon reduction bonds, carbon credits programs, cap-and-trade or cap-and-dividend programs, or other financial incentives for carbon reductions. Legislation was considered in at least Hawaii, Illinois (see Table 2 above), New Mexico (see Table 2 above), Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Legislation introduced in Colorado required the inclusion of the social cost of carbon in legislative fiscal notes while a Vermont bill would have authorized the use of carbon offsets in regional carbon trading. Two states—New Jersey and Virginia—considered legislation this session to join RGGI. New Jersey was a founding member of RGGI but the governor, without the approval of the legislature, left the initiative in 2011. In the 2015 New Jersey session, one resolution to rejoin RGGI was adopted.

  • Studies: Commissioning studies can allow legislatures to gather information to aid with future policy decisions. Legislatures in a number of states considered studies in 2015: legislation in Illinois would have examined previous and future emissions reductions in the state. Massachusetts legislation would have examined the lifecycle emissions of all fuels and establish a task force to study actions needed to further reduce emissions. Oregon legislation would have examined the return on investment for carbon emission activities. Legislation in Washington would have explored the costs and benefits of accelerated retirement of coal-fired generation units.
  • Rate Considerations for Industry: Affordable and reliable generation are principal concerns for both states and industry. Legislatures in at least two states considered bills that would examine the impact of electricity rates on energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries (EITEs) such as mining, manufacturing and forestry. Legislation has been enacted in Arkansas (see Table 1 above) and Virginia. Bills were introduced in Minnesota (including Table 2 above) and Washington. At least three states included specific provisions for EITEs in electricity rates.
  • Supporting Fossil Fuels: In 2015, legislatures in Kentucky and Montana have adopted resolutions supporting coal, coal-fired power plants and carbon capture and sequestration technologies. Legislation introduced in Montana supported coal-fired power plants while legislation enacted in Montana and Wyoming encouraged enhanced oil and gas recovery.
  • Expanding Low Emission Sources: Renewable energy, nuclear energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation are low or zero emission energy sources. In the 2015 session, legislatures in at least Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Washington considered exploring increased use of these technologies and energy diversification to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, a number of states explored the expansion of renewable energy requirements or net metering policies to promote and accommodate increasing quantities of renewable energy.

*Note: Proposed legislation is not an indicator of the likelihood of consideration, passage or failure.

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