EPA Releases Proposed Rule on Carbon Emissions

Yesterday, the EPA release is long-awaited rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. The proposed rule would require an average reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. An interim goal to reduce emissions by 25 percent by 2020 would also been set. The comment period on the rule will last 120 days and EPA will hold several public hearings in late July.

The EPA has assigned each state a specific emission reduction goal, which is specified as a rate in pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour (MWh). The goal is determined based on a formula that includes an assessment of each state’s ability to do the following:

• Improve the efficiency of existing fossil-fueled power plants

• Increase the utilization of lower-emitting natural gas plants

• Deploy additional low-carbon power sources such as nuclear and renewables

• Reduce the growth rate of demand for electricity through investments in energy efficiency.

While the EPA’s proposed rule would require states to cut emissions, it would be up to the each state to determine how to meet the emission reduction target. States must submit a plan showing how they will meet the goal. The White House has been stressing the flexibility states would have under the rule to choose the best and most cost-effective strategies to reduce carbon emissions. An EPA Fact Sheet on setting state goals is available here:

Full details of the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule can be found on the EPA website:

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