Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed CO2 standards for existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The proposed rule would require the nation’s fleet of existing power plants to reduce CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2030 from a 2005 baseline. The flexible Clean Power Plan would grant states up to three years to submit plans to meet the goal.
The Clean Power Plan, one of the central tenets of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, will be implemented through a federal-state collaboration under which states identify a path forward using either current or new electricity production and pollution control programs to meet the goals of the proposed program.
The agency intends for the rule to take into account state’s diverse policy considerations, from various emission reduction opportunities using energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced energy technologies; to already existing state programs and measures, including state renewable portfolio standards and multi-state trading programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The agency also recognizes that the nation’s electricity systems, including utility regulatory structures, generation mixes, and electricity demands, differ widely across the country, and offers flexibility to states to organize plans that best suit their unique situations.