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Statement on Proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Washington, D.C.– The following is a statement from Tracy Terry, director of energy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, on the Trump administration’s proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan, announced today:

“Our research finds that all but eight states have made progress toward their emissions goals under the Clean Power Plan, and 13 states had already met those goals as of 2016. These drops in emissions are driven in large part by falling natural gas prices and more economical renewable energy rather than regulations. However, as we have written, without a federal emissions-reduction requirement, it’s unclear whether states have sufficient backstops in place to keep that momentum going.

“While some may call the proposed replacement of the Clean Power Plan a boon for the coal industry, it’s not entirely clear how the new rule would affect coal-fired power plants. It will depend in large part on what states decide to do with this new latitude, what types of investments might be needed to make heat rate improvements, and how this might affect electricity prices—particularly wholesale power prices. So the rule isn’t necessarily a slam dunk for coal.

“The upshot is we may see greater divergence in states’ approaches to and progress toward reducing emissions as a result of this new rule. In addition, there are a number of coal-heavy states with gubernatorial elections in November. The outcomes of those races could have an impact on how the rule is eventually implemented in those states.”