States Seek to Regulate CO2

by William Yeatman on January 21, 2003

in Politics

The American Legislative Exchange Council has released a report on the activities of state legislatures that are seeking to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide.

According to the report, Energy, Environment, and Economics: A Guide for State Legislators, 60 bills were introduced in 2001-2002 legislative sessions to regulate carbon dioxide as well as many resolutions and measures to classify CO2 as a pollutant. Taxpayer subsidies to pay for renewable energy and alternative fuels are also “multiplying in the States as back-door approaches to eliminate carbon-based fuels from the nations energy mix.”

Several States appear close to passing bills to regulate CO2 emissions, including Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. The report also notes that California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Suffolk County in New York have already regulated CO2.

The report also contains examples of model legislation that could be used to counter regulatory bills, including the Verifiable Science Act to “protect citizens from arbitrary and capricious regulations promulgated without any impetus that is justified by pertinent, ascertainable, and peer-reviewed science.” It also includes a Power Plant Siting Act to create “a single Board that functions as the permitting authority for all government approvals necessary to site a Power Plant in the State,” and a “Resolution in Opposition of Carbon Dioxide Emission Standards.”

Oklahoma state Sen. Jim Dunlap (R), ALECs 2002 national chairman, said that one of the greatest threats to the nation are the regulatory burdens on energy. He also said that ALECs goal is to provide its members from state legislatures with a cost-benefit evaluation “of the economic impact of carbon dioxide or multi-pollutant standards that may have little, if any, measurable effect on air quality or the global climate.” The report is available at ALECs website at

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