State governments are taking the initiative to move energy away from fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions.
According to the environmental policy watchdog Inside Climate News (ICN), nearly a dozen states belong to the venerable “100 percent club.” Membership is reserved for states that require a shift to 100% carbon-free electricity generation or net-zero emissions. Five of those states joined the club last year.
The numbers will likely grow. According to ICN, other states also took steps in the same direction but fell short of adopting a 100% requirement.
In 2021, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Carolina and Rhode Island all adopted new laws requiring the state’s electricity generation to be carbon-free or net zero emissions. Massachusetts and Rhode Island set a target date of 2050, and Oregon is shooting for 2040.
ICN also highlighted Washington state, which passed legislation last year to implement a 100% requirement that was passed two years earlier. The new law creates a carbon trading program that cuts emissions.
The five newcomers join California, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, Virginia and Washington, which have their own requirements. Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., are also on the list. These governments passed laws in the last six years. The earliest was Hawaii, which passed its law in 2015. Washington, D.C., has the earliest target date of 2032. Oregon's target date is the next closest, followed by California and Hawaii with target dates of 2045.
ICN also mentions that Nevada and Maine have set goals for reaching 100% clean energy, but they have not adopted requirements.