With all of the media attention afforded the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), states may find it difficult to see through the hype. At a meeting of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Ken Colburn provided a practical overview of the proposed rule and its implications.
The CPP offers a unique opportunity for energy, air, and environmental regulators to work together to rethink power sector regulation in their state or region. Communication between the various stakeholders, neighboring states, and the regional EPA office will be paramount in the process. Mr. Colburn encourages regulators to consider policy and technology options that reach beyond the four building blocks for compliance set forth by the EPA, to leverage energy efficiency for least-cost, least-risk solutions, to explore multi-state, multi-pollutant plans, and to recognize that the compliance plan is not a state implementation plan (SIP) under section 110 of the Clean Air Act. Upon finalization of the CPP rule, EPA will issue states an emissions reduction target and will grant broad discretion for states to craft a compliance plan best suited to the local conditions and requirements. Upon reviewing the plans, EPA will only impose a federal plan if necessary.