US states' plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could lead to little change in US national carbon output, simply pushing coal-fired power plants and other dirty industries to relocate in states without rules, experts said on Thursday.
California reached a deal on Wednesday to cut emissions of gases scientists believe are causing climate change. The plan, which would reduce emissions 25% by 2020, follows an agreement by seven states in the northeast to cut greenhouse emissions at power plants by 10% by 2019.
But experts said state efforts may not lead to lower emissions nationwide. They noted that California gets some of its power from plants in Nevada that run on the fuel that produces the most carbon dioxide -- coal.
In addition to existing Nevada plants that export coal-fired power into California, seven more are being planned in the sparsely-populated state, according to the US Department of Energy.
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