On April 28, 14 states sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, asking for more information and assistance on the agency’s Clean Power Plan, a regulation on carbon emissions from existing power plants currently halted due to a Supreme Court-issued stay.
In particular, the states are looking for EPA guidance and technical assistance “related to the final Clean Power Plan in a manner that is respectful of the Supreme Court’s stay of the regulations until the conclusion of pending litigation,” according to the letter.
The states include Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington, and Virginia, which tend to be receptive to the EPA program to have states cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 32% by 2030.
“This additional information and assistance will be important to our state efforts to prudently plan for and implement a variety of state and federal obligations,” the states say in the letter.
Some states that have signed onto legal challenges of the EPA rule have elected not to spend money and resources on the Clean Power Plan until the litigation is over.
The states say they are currently planning for federal ozone standards that will affect the power sector, engaging with energy agencies on integrated resource plans, developing state climate plans, reviewing and revising state greenhouse gas rules for the power sector, working with other agencies to set renewable energy targets. In addition, they are “planning for compliance with the Clean Power Plan, depending on the eventual outcome of pending litigation,” according to the letter.
Of particular interest to these states is EPA advice on how to proceed with the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) — a program that states may use at their own option to incentivize early investments in wind and solar power generation, as well as in energy efficiency measures in low-income communities.
State participation in the CEIP is optional; however, a state interested in participating in the CEIP must make a (non-binding) expression of its intent to participate in the CEIP in its plan or initial submittal due on Sept. 6, 2016.
“We believe EPA can provide information helpful to states consistent with the stay, as EPA has done previously when litigation is pending and a stay is in effect,” the states said in the letter.