A new report from the World Resources Institute indicates that Maryland has the highest percentage reduction in carbon dioxide emissions among all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Maryland is leading the nation in cutting emissions with a 38 percent reduction from 2005-2017. The study cites many factors for Maryland’s success, namely the rapid switch away from coal to natural gas, and participation in programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that has helped dramatically reduce emissions in the northeast. The study does acknowledge that several states such as California and Washington had already achieved lower emissions levels prior to the 12 year period examined in the study. Following a state analysis, the report then gives a comprehensive overview of what the researchers believe must be done to combat climate change.
From the report:
The federal government may have to step in. Even states that have seen decreases in carbon pollution will need to do much more: shifting from natural gas to renewable fuel sources, for example, and decarbonizing cars and other vehicles. That will require a more comprehensive federal policy, like big federal spending on wind and solar energy or a nationwide cap-and-trade system. Meanwhile, some states — like Idaho, Texas, and the Dakotas — still have rising emissions levels.