EPA has approved a proposed $10 billion reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in five Western states, including California, Oregon and Washington.
The announcement by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Tuesday (Sept. 17) was the first step in a process that will eventually lead to the agency issuing an executive order that would allow the states to meet the emissions reduction targets set by President Donald Trump.
California and Oregon would be the first to receive an executive action, while Washington would be given an additional six months to meet its targets.
Under the plan, the EPA would make reductions of between 0.9 percent and 2 percent in 2020 and 1.3 percent and 1 percent in 2021.
California, which already has a greenhouse gas standard that was set by Trump in January, would have to cut its emissions by 5 percent by 2022.
Oregon and Washington would have a 1 percent reduction by 2023.
California would have an average of 0.2 percent reduction each year from 2020 to 2025.
California’s plan would cover the whole state.
California also would have the flexibility to increase its greenhouse gas targets over the next 10 years.
The agency would be allowed to set emissions targets for certain areas, like coastal areas and cities, if it determines that doing so would be beneficial to the economy.
California was the top-polluter in 2020, according to a report from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Oregon has also been the state with the most greenhouse gas pollution in recent years, according the report.
Oregon was also the top producer of greenhouse gases in the U.S. in 2016, according a 2016 report from a group called the Clean Air Task Force.
California ranked third behind the states of Washington and New York, which both have emissions standards set by the Obama administration, according an analysis by the group.
California currently has a statewide standard for greenhouse gases.
Washington has its own standard for carbon dioxide.
The plan would apply to states that meet the targets for 2020 and 2021.
The EPA also has an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a draft plan for a regulatory framework that will help guide federal agencies, states and businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels.
States and businesses can use an EIS to submit plans for reductions in greenhouse gases that could be put into effect when the plan is approved by Congress.
In 2018, the Obama-era EPA finalized its first greenhouse gas plan.
The plan was designed to help California meet its 2020 targets.