By Dan Gearino
The Biden administration promises to restart U.S. progress on clean energy and climate policy, after the backsliding of the last four years.
But one thing that won’t change from the Trump administration is that state governments will be the most likely to pass far-reaching legislation, considering that, on the federal level, President Joe Biden is working with a narrowly divided Congress.
This year, I’ll be watching Massachusetts and Illinois, which are poised to pass major clean energy legislation, and California, where officials will soon update their building code in a way that is likely to reduce the use of natural gas in new construction.
“Cities and states will need to continue to lead,” said Kit Kennedy, senior director of the climate and clean energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Pennsylvania is on track to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a coalition of 11 New England and Mid-Atlantic states that participate in a cap-and-trade program to help reduce emissions. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order in 2019 to have his state join the coalition, and now the state is nearing the end of a rulemaking process that would make the order official. Pennsylvania would be the 12th member and the largest emitter of greenhouse gases to join the group, representing a major expansion of the cap-and-trade market.
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