Arizona State Climate Policy Over the Years

Timeline created by erinstone7
  • Arizona leads on building efficiency standards

    The state's government building energy goals become a nationally recognized example of leadership.
  • Arizona adopts appliance efficiency standards

    Together with other states, Arizona adopts state appliance efficiency standards, which in part provide impetus for federal adoption in the 2005 Federal Energy Bill.
  • Climate Change Advisory Group established

    Governor Janet Napolitano issues an executive order to start the Climate Change Advisory Group and develop a state climate action plan.
  • Arizona-Sonora climate initiative declared

    Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens, Arizona Governor Napolitano, Mexico Secretary of Urban Infrastructure and Ecology Humberto Valdes Ruy Sanchez, and Sonora Governor Eduardo Bours Castelo declare a collaboration to address greenhouse gas emissions in the borderlands.
  • ACC adopts new renewable energy standard

    Arizona Corporation Commission, the state's public utility regulatory body, adopts new renewable energy standards. Arizona becomes one of the first states in the country to implement the policy, which requires regulated electric utilities to generate 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2025, an aggressive goal at the time. These standards have not been updated by the ACC since.
  • Southwest Climate Initiative launched

    Governor Napolitano and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson sign an agreement launching a framework for the two states to collaborate on strategies to address the effects of climate change in the Southwest and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region.
  • Western governors adopt climate resolutions

    At their annual meeting in Sedona, the Western Governors Association adopts climate resolutions to lower regional emissions. ''We are long past the time when we can just talk about this problem,'' Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzanegger said at the time. ''We must take action.' (
  • Napolitano signs off on state climate action plan

    Governor Napolitano signs an executive order approving the state climate action plan developed by the Climate Change Advisory Group. The plan includes 49 policy recommendations to allow the state to reach a goal of cutting emissions to 2000 levels by 2020 and 50% below 2000 levels by 2040. The order also directed state agencies to adopt and implement California’s Clean Car Program to require roughly a 30% cut in GHG emissions from new cars by 2016.
  • Western Climate Initiative formed

    Governor Napolitano joins with the governors of California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington to create the Western Climate Initiative, a cap-and-trade program to reduce regional emissions. Utah and Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba later sign on. In August, ADEQ Director Steve Owens is named co-chair of WCI. (
  • Arizona adopts Clean Car Standards

    Arizona Department of Environmental Quality announces its final rulemaking to adopt California's Clean Car Standards.
  • Napolitano joins Obama Administration

    Governor Napolitano resigns to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama. Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer lands in the Governor's office.
  • Arizona pulls out of Western Climate Initiative

    Citing financial worries, Governor Brewer signs an executive order for the state to pull out of the Western Climate Initiative, the regional cap-and-trade program established in 2007.
  • Brewer prohibits GHG emissions monitoring

    Governor Brewer signs a law preventing state agencies from monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. The law specifically says ADEQ "shall not adopt or enforce a state or regional program to regulate the emission of greenhouse gas for the purposes of addressing changes in atmospheric temperature without express legislative authorization.' (
  • Clean Car standards repealed

    In January 2011, Governor Brewer signed an executive order for ADEQ to review the state's adoption of California's Clean Car Standards. By 2012, the standards are repealed, making Arizona the first state to give up California standards and revert to federal standards.
  • Brewer orders review of power plant emissions

    Governor Brewer authorizes ADEQ to adopt and enforce a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, pursuant to the Clean Air Act. Ironically, this came at the same time legislators passed a memorial to oppose the federal Clean Power Plan. (
  • Ducey prohibits energy benchmarking

    Governor Doug Ducey signs a bill to limit cities’ ability to require energy benchmarking. He also signs a separate bill to stop cities from limiting the use of plastic bags and other disposable containers. He also signs a bill to hinder rooftop solar installations.
  • Coal-fired energy company gets a tax break

    The Legislature passes and Governor Ducey signs a tax break for Peabody Energy, allowing them to avoid transaction privilege tax on coal from Kayenta Mine. "This will prop up an uneconomical and highly polluting power plant, Navajo Generating Station. Those dollars could better be directed to transition to clean energy," the Sierra Club wrote at the time. In 2017, the owners of the coal-fired power plant had already determined it would not be economical to continue operating the plant.
  • A proclamation on climate, but no action

    Bills to address greater efficiency in appliances, cleaner car standards, and energy benchmarking are introduced in the Legislature, but not heard. A proclamation read on both the Senate and House floors recognizes a “changing climate” and the need for action. (
  • Natural gas bans outlawed

    The Legislature passes and Governor Ducey signs into law a bill that prevents cities and towns from banning natural gas hookups in new construction. Bills to develop a state climate action plan and greenhouse gas emissions monitoring are introduced, but not heard.