Sunday, February 23, 2020

Final Clean Power Plan more ambitious, yet more flexible for states

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan, unveiled on Monday by President Obama, aims to cut 70 million more tons of carbon pollution than the original proposal, while allowing states more flexibility in their implementation of its measures.

The regulation is the nation’s first-ever limitation on carbon pollution from existing power plants. Originally proposed last year, the final version of the plan was updated based on input from the public and industry stakeholders, with 4 million public comments sent to Washington.

The rule sets uniform emission rates for power plants and carbon-pollution reduction goals for each state that reflect those emission rates and each state's energy mix. The states are also given an interim target for 2022, as well as a final target for 2030, but how the states work up to those targets is up to them. Power plants are also able to trade emissions, which is another factor contributing to state flexibility as power grids often run across state lines.

The EPA’s final version of the rule also included a model plan for states that would meet the regulation’s requirements cost effectively, an implemented option based on requests received from states.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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