Under current United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Clean Air Act regulations, individual States must enact regulations to meet a Federal carbon dioxide standard, but it seems that some States think that other States can do better.
Of course, California can’t say to West Virginia, “Clean up your act,” but there are ways around a direct charge. West Virginia is 98% coal-powered, so cleaning up its act is going to be far more difficult than Vermont, probably the cleanest state in the Union. Aside from the Clean Air Act mandating individual States to come up with their own plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions, the EPA also has asked the States to give it suggestions on a new plan to be proposed in June, 2014, for a 2015 implementation.
Some States, such as Colorado, Illinois, and Minnesota, have been able to cut 20% of their power plant carbon dioxide emissions in the last seven years, saying that the plans they implemented could easily be adopted by other States. In a letter to the EPA, fifteen States (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington) urged the EPA to set high standards nationwide.
Of course, each State is starting from a different point in its own reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, but each State has to do its part in reducing nationwide emissions. Minnesota, for example, has enacted regulations to curb energy consumption by 1.5% and increase renewable energy utilization to 25% by 2025, cutting its reliance on fossil fuels, coal, specifically, at the same time. Other States should be able to meet the targets, as high as they are, by implementing the same type of efficiency improvements and making the move away from fossil fuels.