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The Trump administration took another step toward replacing the Clean Power Plan with its proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, published on August 21, 2018. The Clean Power Plan was developed by the Obama administration in 2015, but was stayed by the Supreme Court the following year and never implemented.  

On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a stay on EPA’s Clean Power Plan (click here to learn more about the Clean Power Plan, and click here to learn more about the expected timeline of the stay). This stay calls into question whether some states will continue to implement policies associated with the Clean Power Plan, such as increased renewables and energy efficiency.

Last night, the Supreme Court shocked many of us when it took the unprecedented step of granting a stay of the EPA’s carbon-reducing Clean Power Plan before litigation against the rule has even been heard by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. A stay is essentially a judicial pause button that halts the implementation of a regulation while challenges to it work their way through the court system. In doing so, the Supreme Court overruled the D.C.

In this series of posts, we explore how EPA has designed the Clean Power Plan to facilitate the buying and selling of credits representing emissions reductions at fossil-fuel fired power plants. Part 1 focuses on rate-based trading. Part 2 will explore how states can trade allowances representing tons of CO2 emissions.

EPA’s final Clean Power Plan differs from the version proposed last year in several non-trivial ways. In fact, the basic framework of the rule—the way in which the EPA sets states’ targets for emissions reductions and the options for meeting those targets—has changed. As part of our ongoing series of webinars on the final Clean Power Plan, Synapse will present a webinar next Tuesday that drills into the details of EPA’s new method for calculating states’ targets and the differences between the seven compliance pathways (of which there were two in the proposed rule).

EPA’s Clean Power Plan, released this past Monday, offers many more options for compliance than were available in the proposed rule. More on these pathways plus a link to detailed slide deck after the jump.

On August 3, EPA released the final version of its Clean Power Plan. This rule establishes emission reduction guidelines for existing power plants aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels. The final rule includes some important difference from the version proposed last year. As public agencies, interest groups, and electric-sector experts scramble in the next days and weeks to first absorb and then analyze the rule, we offer our early assessment of the top eight things planners and advocates should know about the final Clean Power Plan, and compare each point to the proposed rule.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of its Clean Power Plan, the agency’s effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants built before 2012. Since the proposed rule was issued as a draft over a year ago, utilities, state regulators, consumer advocates, and environmental groups have speculated about the final form, and what it might require. This isn’t the first rule that could spur substantial changes within the electricity sector.

Investing in high levels of clean energy and widespread energy efficiency programs can save money for a majority of households in each of the contiguous states, according to a Synapse modeling study released today. The analysis, part of a series of briefs on the impacts of EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan on consumers, shows that households participating in state-sponsored efficiency programs can save an average of $35 on their monthly bills in 2030. Even non-participants will save money in 16 states.

The National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) yesterday released a technical document identifying a wide range of technologies, programs, and policies that agencies might employ to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The document, Implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Menu of Options, contains 26 chapters, each exploring a different approach to reducing emissions.

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