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Ten States and EPA to Launch Clean Energy-Environment Partnership Program
Release Date: 02/17/2005
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(02/17/05) On Feb. 18, EPA will launch the new Clean Energy-Environment State Partnership Program with 10 states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Under the voluntary program, EPA assists states as they develop and implement action plans to improve air quality, decrease energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance economic development.
"EPA is pleased to initiate a new effort to help states work on cost-effective energy and environmental strategies that make sense for their air, their electricity systems, and their economies," said Jeffrey Holmstead, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation. "Through our joint efforts, the increased use of energy efficiency, renewable energy and other clean power options can help meet our nation's growing energy demand in a way that also supports our clean air goals, creates jobs and lowers costs."
With the demand for energy expected to climb 40 percent by the year 2025 and about 126 million people living in counties where monitored air is unhealthy at one time or more during the year, many states are seeking to integrate their energy and environmental policies to protect public health while addressing concerns with electricity reliability, energy security and economic development.
EPA estimates that if all 50 states implemented cost-effective clean energy-environment policies, the expected growth in demand for electricity could be cut in half by 2025, and more demand could be met through a cleaner energy supply. This would mean annual savings of more than 900 billion kilowatt-hours and $70 billion in energy costs by 2025, while preventing the need for more than 300 power plants and the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 80 million of today's vehicles.
Under the new partnership program, States agree to work with EPA to develop and implement a state-specific Clean Energy-Environment State Action Plan that contains one or more clean energy-environment goals. EPA provides Partner States with access to a comprehensive technical assistance package of planning, policy, technical, analytical and information resources and helps direct them to other federal programs that support clean energy-environment strategies. In addition to receiving technical assistance from EPA, partners benefit from learning from their peers about successful programs and policies at work in other states, identifying themselves as environmental and clean energy leaders, and receiving EPA recognition for the environmental benefits that result from their efforts.
Examples of policies and programs that states may choose to pursue as part of their Clean Energy-Environment Action Plan include energy efficiency incentive programs to promote technologies that can lower emissions and save consumers energy costs and programs to support the adoption of cost-effective green power.
EPA will announce the Clean Energy-Environment Partnership Program Feb. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the National Association of State Energy Officials' (NASEO) 2005 Energy Outlook conference. Information about the conference is available online at: http://www.naseo.org/events/outlook/default.htm .
For information on the program and Charter Partners, go to: http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy .