Maine, one of the most oil dependent American states, has passed a law that requires the region’s oil consumption to be reduced by 30 per cent by 2030 and 50 per cent by 2050, based on 2009 levels.
While the law does not seem mainly focused on a shift to alternative energy, it does include it, although the main objective of the law is to increase efficiency and promote a paradigm shift amongst local people.
Efficiency Maine Trust has been put in charge of implementing the changes and developing a plan by 2012. According to a blog post on the Natural Resources Defense Council, among the options the trust is considering include:
- Shifting freight from trucks to marine and rail transport;
- Using more electric vehicles;
- Offering rebates to consumers to retire old cars and trucks; beefing up public transportation through investment and incentives;
- Weatherizing homes and offices and using more renewable sources of energy for home heating;
- Coordinating land use and transportation planning to encourage the growth of neighborhoods that are accessible by walking, biking and public transportation.
NRDC highlights that by reducing oil consumption Maine can cut down air pollution, keep tax dollars at home and spur a local green economy.
There seems to be a trend amongst state leaders to make moves towards decarbonizing the economy. Hawaii recently announced a plan to meet 70% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. Besides, Hawaii has been increasing its generation of solar energy.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.