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A New Tool Shows the Progress States are Making on Climate
It has certainly been a great week for climate action. This week saw the release of the long-awaited carbon rules: regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and President Obama that aim to place the first ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Along with this landmark rule, the Georgetown Climate Center, released a new online tool that lets you see emissions trends on a state by state basis. Check out this map that shows carbon emissions trends across the country since 2005. Click on the map to see an interactive version where you can get more information about each state’s trends. As the map shows, almost every state in America has seen reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels. My home state of Pennsylvania is already well on its way, down 16.2% since 2005. These graphics and charts make it easy to see what the energy makeup of each state looks like. This tool allows for state and regional comparisons and estimates how different carbon capturing programs would positively increase the economy and spur the growth of jobs in the renewable and efficiency sectors. For example, the potential economic benefits from capping carbon pollution in Pennsylvania are an added 1.7 billion to the economy and 26,000 jobs.
As you can see from using the Georgetown Climate Center tool, many states are already making great progress on climate pollution. That is because action on climate makes sense as it protects communities and wildlife from the impacts of climate change and air pollution. A really exciting aspect of the EPA’s carbon rule is that it focuses on each state individually, recognizing that there are huge differences in emissions trends and fossil fuel generation state to state. This flexible rule allows for room for states to find a way to reduce emissions that works best for them.
States are already making progress and taking responsible action to address carbon pollution. These carbon rules are a vitally important step to ensure that going forward this positive action continues and carbon emissions continue to drop.