Utah to Set its Own Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal
Governor Jon Huntsman announced he will work with Utah industry and other stakeholders to develop State goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as part of a regional initiative to reduce emissions by 15 percent by 2020 released today.
In May, the Governor joined with the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), six states and two Canadian provinces, committed to reducing GHG emissions in the West, including establishing a regional GHG reduction goal by the end of August 2007. Presently, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba, have individual state/provincial GHG goals.
The regional goal is an aggregation of goals from all eight WCI members, but it does not replace the members' individual goals.
As part of joining the WCI, Huntsman committed the State to developing a GHG reduction goal by June of 2008. He intends to use a stakeholder-based process to establish targets for greenhouse gas reductions based on economic factors and consideration of all sectors of the economy that generate greenhouse gas emissions. The goal also will reflect the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council's pending recommendations to the Governor.
In Utah, electricity generation and vehicles are the two largest sector emitters of GHG. Coal-fired generation provides about 85 percent of Utah's electricity. Technologies can be implemented to capture and sequester carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants. Emissions of GHG from vehicles can be reduced through changes to lower carbon fuels and increased miles per gallon ratings on vehicles.
"Coal-fired generation will remain an important part of our energy mix," Huntsman said. "Utah's goal will encourage economic development through new and innovative technologies while improving energy security, broadening and enhancing our renewable energy sector of our economy and improving the air quality in our State."