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New Paper Highlights State Strategies for Meeting New Federal Carbon Regulations for Power Plants

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. – A newly-published paper aims to help states sort through the options to meet the proposed requirements under upcoming carbon regulations for existing power plants, dubbed the “Clean Power Plan” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Choosing a Policy Pathway for State 111(d) Plans to Meet State Objectives includes a description and discussion of state-level considerations when choosing a policy pathway to achieve EPA-prescribed emission reduction goals. The paper also offers several step-by-step “straw men” examples to provide policy makers and stakeholders a clearer sense of how various policy pathways may be implemented.

“EPA is expected to tell states the carbon emissions target they must meet, but it is up to states to figure out how to achieve those targets. States are starting with a blank page. Our aim is to help state regulators and stakeholders understand their options.” said paper co-author Franz Litz of the Great Plains Institute (GPI).

“States will need to evaluate the potential policy pathways and select an approach that best meets state objectives,” said co-author Jennifer Macedonia of the Bipartisan Policy Center. The paper highlights several potential objectives that states may wish to consider when formulating their compliance plans.

“Cost-effectiveness, grid reliability, flexibility and meeting environmental goals are all critical objectives for states to achieve,” Litz said, noting that making sound program design choices can help states better meet these objectives.

“Once a state has determined their objectives, they can consider the available policy pathways in light of those objectives,” Macedonia said. “States will not know the specifics of the final regulations until EPA releases them this summer; however, states can begin understanding their policy options now.”