PSR Chapters Face Variety of Climate Policy Scenarios
Many PSR chapters continue to pursue an energy system based on clean healthy sources, despite the Supreme Court-imposed stay on the Clean Power Plan. They face a varied political landscape.
In environmentally aware states like California, Washington and Oregon, PSR chapters have the luxury of supporting existing policies that have their states well on the way to meeting their CPP goals.
Two other states with strong PSR chapters -- Maine and Maryland -- are participants in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state program that requires utilities to cap and reduce their CO2 emissions over time. These states are likely to meet their CPP targets largely through this mechanism.
Some states continue pushing ahead with state-based legislation. For e ample, Maine PSR is working to pass legislation that would swell the state's solar generation from under eight megawatts to 250 megawatts by 2022.
But the going is tough for many PSR chapters, even in states that are amply endowed with renewable resources. This is the case for "Sunshine State" Florida and for Arizona, both of which could be capturing vast solar resources, and for Texas, with its huge wind potential. Unfortunately, partisan politics and the power of the oil industry make progress on clean energy difficult.
In some places, pragmatism may overcome partisan politics. Iowa's Republican governor joined 15 Democratic governors and one other Republican in signing an accord to pursue clean renewable energy. The decision highlights the potential economic benefits of renewable energy: in 2014, Iowa generated more than 28 percent of its electricity from wind power.
Page Updated March 15, 2016