The NYT reports this morning that ten states had already met the new federal targets for carbon emissions reductions by 2012. This is an indication that the choice of 2005 was an easy way to let states off the hook for real reductions. Much of the carbon emissions reductions has happened because electricity demand has fallen, not from any other changes in behavior or generation.
Although reductions from falling demand indicate how weak the new EPA standard is, they also illustrate the kind of impact demand management, including investment in energy efficiency and conservation, can have. The whiners need to stop whining and get to work.
The NYT story also illustrates that multi-state agreements like RGGI work:
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York cut their power-sector emissions more than 40 percent from 2005 to 2012, according to the Georgetown Climate Center, with Maryland close behind at 39 percent. The states are part of a nine-state project called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and, like much of the country, have benefited from the recent abundance of cheap natural gas.