Pulling in Both Directions: How States Are Moving Toward Decarbonization While Continuing to Support Fossil Fuels

Payne, Heather

This Article seeks to first demonstrate the focus of state-level decarbonization on electricity generation, and, to a lesser extent, transportation. It then makes the case that these actions are both insufficient to address the scale of the problem we are facing and, in fact, that states continue to support fossil fuel use—intentionally, unintentionally, for political expediency, or perhaps because it was the right approach to achieve policy objectives a decade ago.29 More coordinated action by states— both in the political sphere and by regulatory bodies—is necessary to confront the challenge from climate change. This intentional, coordinated action will lessen the drag in the system and allow for the financial and political capital to implement the necessary change to achieve deep decarbonization more quickly.

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Columbia Journal of Environmental Law

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August 7, 2020