Thursday, June 04, 2015

Despite opposition to EPA's CO2 limits, most states are making plans to comply with rules

Despite strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rules to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030, EPA says most states are making plans to comply with the rules and expects 49 states to submit plans once the rules are finalized, Naveena Sadasivam reports for InsideClimate News as part of the series Coal's Long Goodbye.

Twelve states have sued EPA, "claiming the rule is unlawful and amounts to a federal power grab," Sadasivam writes. "And at least half a dozen other states have set up legislative hurdles for the environmental agencies in charge of putting together a compliance plan. Yet, the vast majority of state agencies charged with drafting a compliance plan have sidestepped these political fights and begun work on plans that might meet the EPA’s carbon reduction targets."

Ken Colburn, a senior associate at The Regulatory Assistance Project, a nonprofit providing technical assistance on energy and the environment, told Sadasivam, "Even the reddest states have recognized that while the political leadership may want to go ahead with challenging the rule, if those challenges don't prevail, the governors will come back and say, 'We lost, now what are we going to do?' It would be irresponsible for the agencies to not have a Plan B developed." (InsideClimate News graphic)
The Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental group, "found that 31 states are well on their way to meet the EPA's interim targets," Sadasivam writes. One of the hurdles for coal states is that they have little experience cutting emissions, but getting educated is not hard, Sadasivam writes. "A host of national organizations, consulting firms and regional utility and environmental associations have been holding talks and workshops to evaluate models, discuss options and engage with groups affected by the energy transition."

"Last month the National Association of Clean Air Agencies released an encyclopedia of options that states could pursue to meet their targets," Sadasivam writes. "The report explores 25 approaches to reduce carbon emissions and discusses their regulatory impact, reduction in carbon levels and costs . . . The National Governors Association has also launched an initiative to help states study ways to comply with the carbon regulations." (Read more)

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