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Clean Air Act: Clean Power Plan & Global Climate Change

This guide supports Dr. Preston McLane's class on the Clean Air Act.

Overview

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, filed a proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants, described informally as the "Clean Power Plan." The proposed rule is entitled: Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.  According to EPA,

the Clean Power Plan will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations."  The EPA proposed rule summary states that EPA "is proposing emission guidelines for states to follow in developing plans to address greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units.  Specifically, the EPA is proposing state-specific rate-based goals for carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, as well as guidelines for states to follow in developing plans to achieve the state-specific goals.

The final rule will be codified at 40 CFR Part 60.

EPA Carbon Pollution Standards webpage

Regulations.gov

  • Search at Regulations.gov for materials filed in connection with the relevant rule:
    • EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602
    • Review the materials in the docket:  the Proposed Rule; any previous Final or Proposed Rules; Comments; and Supporting Documents.  Use the "search within" feature to search for documents containing specific terms.
  • Search at Regulations.gov for materials concerning "carbon emission pollution").
  • Review the most recent Regulatory Agenda.  In this case, the proposed rule does not appear in the regulatory plan.
  • The comment period has been extended to December 1, 2014, so you will need to continue looking for comments throughout the semester.

Federalregister.gov

Federalregister.gov is the website of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  

  • Browse federalregister.gov and choose Environmental Protection Agency to find documents under the topics Documents Pending Publication, Significant Regulations, Recent Documents, Closing Soon, and Opening

 

  • Significant Regulations - Thursday 25 (extending the comment period)

​​​  Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units

The information on federalregister.gov is linked to regulations.gov.  Some users find it an easier starting point than regulations.gov.

 On Oct. 30, 2014, EPA published a "a notice of data availability (NODA) in support of the proposed rule titled “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” which was published on June 18, 2014. In this document, the EPA is providing additional information on several topics raised by stakeholders and is soliciting comment on the information presented. The three topic areas are the emission reduction compliance trajectories created by the interim goal for 2020 to 2029, certain aspects of the building block methodology, and the way state-specific carbon dioxide (CO 2) goals are calculated."

Council of State Governments

 

CSG National Conference, Presentation by Jennifer Macedonia, Senior Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center.  Macedonia "leads the center’s work on greenhouse gas emission standards under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Formerly with the Environmental Protection Agency, she served as an expert on the delegation to international climate negotiations."

Environmental Defense Fund

Vocabulary

As is often the case with EPA, there is both a popular term for a proposal ("Clean Power Plan") and a formal term ("National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants...."). You will need to use both terms when you search.  Other phrases, taken from the Proposed Rule text, may also be helpful.

  • Clean power
  • Carbon pollution emission guidelines
  • existing stationary sources
  • electric utility generating units
  • EGUs
  • carbon intensity
  • carbon intensive
  • section 111(d)
  • state-specific rate-based CO2 goals
  • Climate Action Plan
  • RIN 2060-AR33
  • EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602

SSRN

Remember that SSRN has the full-text of articles in pre-publication.  See, for example [search: "clean power"]:

EPA's Clean Power Play: Who Needs Congress? 
The Electricity Journal, July 2014, Forthcoming
Brian H. Potts and David R. Zoppo Foley & Lardner LLP and Foley & Lardner LLP 

Date posted: 
13 Jun 2014


 

The Clean Power Plan: The Debate From All Angles 
Rachel Marlowe Widener University - School of Law 

Working Papers Series

Date posted: 
26 Sep 2014

 

Bloomberg BNA

Use Bloomberg BNA to find

  • quotations from EPA officials and stakeholders
  • links to relevant documents
  • analysis.

To search for information,

  • Look in the Environment and Safety Research Center.
  • Search in the main search box.

See, for example, this news item from Oct. 13 [search: RIN 2060-AR33]:

Climate Regulation
EPA Open to Revising Power Plant Proposal,
McCarthy Says as States Raise Concerns

Gina McCarthy

The Environmental Protection Agency is open to revising its proposed carbon dioxide emissions standards for existing power plants as it gathers public input, Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a speech at Resources for the Future Sept. 25.
The EPA's proposal would set state-specific carbon dioxide emissions rates for the power industry, but McCarthy said those targets could change as the agency continues to evaluate its rule.
“You may see adjustments in state levels. You may see adjustments in the framework,” she said.
At a separate Bipartisan Policy Center event Sept. 25, states and utilities said the EPA proposal actually would penalize states that already have taken steps to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by not giving them full credit for those programs.
The EPA proposed the rule June 18 (previous hitRINnext hit previous hit2060-AR33next hit) (79 Fed. Reg. 34,830). States would be required to submit plans to the EPA to administer the carbon dioxide standards through a process similar to that used to approve state implementation plans for other air pollutants (21 BECB 212, 7/7/14).
McCarthy said the goal is to give states as much flexibility as possible to allow them to determine for themselves how best to achieve their proposed emissions rates.
“We're allowing every state to do what they want in terms of developing their own plans that they can send to EPA that say, ‘I can get here this way best,' ” McCarthy said.
However, some states have raised concerns with their proposed emissions rate targets that could lead the EPA to revise the requirements in the final rule, McCarthy told reporters after her speech.
“We've received a lot of suggestions that really fall within that category of fairness: Are we being asked too much, is somebody else not being asked enough? We'll take a look at those comments, and I think there are some adjustments that will be made,” she said.
McCarthy also said states have raised issues with how new natural gas-fired power plants, which have lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal-fired facilities, will be credited and how the proposed rule would credit states with nuclear power plants.

Cases Pending

White Stallion Petition for Review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Review sought at U.S. S.Ct. for: White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA, Docket No. 12-01100 (D.C. Cir. Feb 16, 2012), Court Docket

Question presented: Whether EPA’s interpretation of “appropriate” in 42 U.S.C. § 7412(n)(1)(A) is unreasonable because it refused to consider a key factor (costs) when determining whether it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutants emitted by electric utilities.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar can help you find articles from disciplines other than law.  See the tab "Articles" for information on linking directly to articles or finding journals at FSU.  See, for example [search: "clean power plan"] (sorted by date):

Effectiveness of US state policies in reducing CO2 emissions from power plants

D Grant, K Bergstrand, K Running - Nature Climate Change, 2014 - nature.com
22 days ago - ... Under the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan, states will be responsible for cutting
power plants' carbon pollution 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. States have already adopted
several policies to reduce the electricity sector's climate impact. ...

[HTML] USDA Economic Research Service-Agricultural Energy Use and the Proposed Clean Power Plan

S Suttles - 2014 - ers.usda.gov
35 days ago - In June 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new 
guidelines to reduce carbon pollution from electric generating facilities. The EPA's Clean 
Power Plan aims to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel-fired power ...

[PDF] Targeting Existing Power Plants: EPA Emission Reduction with Wind and Demand Response (Excerpts)

JB Cardella, CL Andersonb - science.smith.edu
41 days ago - ... Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In June, 2014, EPA issued the Clean
Power Plan that proposes regulation of existing power plants via a “best system of emission
reduction” or BSER. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions ...

State Compliance Options under EPA's Clean Power Plan

K Swayne Wilson, K Rankin… - … : The Journal of Record, 2014 - online.liebertpub.com
66 days ago - Background On June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
issued draft regulations for states to meet emissions reduction targets under Section 111 (d) 
1 of the Clean Air Act. Known as the Clean Power Plan, the proposed regulations set the ...

[CITATION] EPA announces restrictions for existing power plant pollution

L Wahowiak - The Nation's Health, 2014 - thenationshealth.aphapublications. …
74 days ago - ... levels. That is just one goal of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean
Power Plan, a new set of guidelines for power plants to reduce air pollution. ... EPAPowerPlants.
Public comment about the Clean Power Plan is open until Oct. 16. ...
 

Environmental & Energy Publishing, Inc.

Bipartisan Policy center

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