Wisconsin, Michigan halt work on EPA Clean Power Plan compliance

At least two states in the Midwest, Wisconsin and Michigan, will not work on developing a state implementation plan (SIP) for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan now that the carbon rule has been stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) issued an executive order on Feb. 15 that prevents state “agencies, boards, commissions, or any of their agents from developing or promoting the development of a state plan to comply with the 111(d) Rule until the expiration of the stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“The stay granted last week by the Supreme Court validates our concerns about this rule,” Walker said. “The Executive Order we issued today protects our taxpayers from an unnecessary cost of up to $13 billion as we continue to act in the best interests of Wisconsin citizens,” Walker said in issuing Executive Order No. 186.

The Michigan Agency for Energy issued a statement Feb. 16 saying that Michigan will suspend its efforts to comply with the EPA carbon reduction plan and wait for the CO2 rule to be resolved in the courts.

Michigan will, however, complete the modeling project currently underway, and paid for, because the data will help other planning efforts. The Michigan Carbon Rule website will continue and the modeling results will be posted there, the Agency for Energy said.

In addition, suspending the work on the CO2 rule effort “will have no bearing on the previously announced coal plant retirements, which includes 25 units between 2013 and 2020,” according to the Michigan agency.

Michigan also noted that suspending the CO2 rule work has no impact on Michigan’s recently announced participation in the multi-state Governors Accord for a New Energy Future.

States including Michigan, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington have signed the accord. These states have pledged to diversify energy generation and expand clean energy sources, modernize the energy infrastructure, and encourage clean transportation options.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 9 agreed to grant West Virginia and other plaintiffs a stay of the EPA Clean Power Plan. Four of the nine justices disagreed with the decision to block the rule until it is litigated before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, a member of the majority, died only days after the high court issued the stay.

The EPA rule would have states cut power sector CO2 emissions 32% by 2030


About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.