Seventeen States to Work Together Toward Clean Energy

LA City Highway

By Maura Forrest

February 25, 2016

Governors of 17 American states have signed an agreement to work together to pursue clean energy goals.

The Accord for a New Energy Future was released last week. The 17 signatories have agreed to cooperate on expanding clean energy sources, modernizing electricity grids and promoting clean transportation, including electric vehicles.

“By deploying renewable, cleaner and more efficient energy solutions, we can make our national economy more productive and resilient,” the accord reads.

The signatories are bipartisan, and include the governors of California, Nevada, New York, Virginia and Hawaii.

The accord cites extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and wildfires, as some of the challenges that “demand these new energy solutions.”

The announcement comes in the wake of a recent Supreme Court decision that put a hold on President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which would demand that power plants reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 32 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

But a report from Climatewire noted that the accord doesn’t include any mention of climate change, which reporter Debra Kahn argues “was necessary to bring a bipartisan swath of states together.”

“It’s acceptable for some of these governors to talk about the impacts of climate change, like extreme weather and sea-level rise, as long as they don’t talk about the greenhouse gases that cause those effects,” Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air, is quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Canadian provinces and territories will likely also be asked to work together at a Vancouver meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers in early March.

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Trudeau plans to work on a deal with the provinces over the next six months to set a national minimum carbon price of $15 per tonne. 

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski have already spoken out against the plan.