The Environmental Protection Agency’s soon to be finalized Clean Power Plan has been sent to the White House for review. The EPA views the federal plan as an interim measure to ensure that congressionally mandated emission standards under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act are fully implemented until such time as states assume their role as the preferred implementers of the emission guidelines issued by the EPA. The implementation plan, which was sent to the OMB on July 2, also serves as a model for the EPA to implement measures to achieve emission standards in states that elect not to implement the Clean Power Plan.
The final version of the federal implementation plan associated with the Clean Power Plan is expected to be released in August 2016. When finalized, the Clean Power Plan would establish unique carbon dioxide emission rates for the power sector of each state. The final rule would leave to the discretion of the individual states how best to achieve the emission targets using the following four basic regulatory techniques to reduce emissions:
1. Heat rate improvements at power plants;
2. Shifting from coal to natural gas;
3. Investment in renewable or nuclear regeneration; and
4. Energy efficiency programs.
For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.