Mainstream media outlets reported this week that the Environmental Protection Agency will release its final rules for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants today or tomorrow, 3rd or 4th August. The Washington Post and the New York Times both ran stories that contain details of changes in the rules provided by unnamed White House sources. It was also reported that President Barack Obama will join EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at a White House Rose Garden press briefing to announce the rules.
According to these reports, the final rule for existing power plants, the so-called “Clean Power” Plan, will differ from the proposed rule released in June 2014 in several ways. The deadline for States to implement their plans to reduce emissions will be moved from 2020 to 2022. The EPA will offer extra credit to States that take early action to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency. Another report suggested that the final rule will give credit for nuclear plants under construction or being planned, rather than including them in the baseline.
After the final rules are released, the Cooler Heads Coalition’s web site, GlobalWarming.org, will provide analysis and links to other useful analyses. In addition, the American Energy Alliance has just created a hub for the “latest information on how States and the public are fighting back against the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan.”.
CEI has just published my colleague William Yeatman’s briefing on some of the legal issues involved, EPA’s “Clean Power” Plan Overreach. And the Energy and Environment Legal Institute has just published my CEI colleague Chris Horner’s report, Back to Square One: Unlawful Collusion with Green Pressure Groups Should Doom EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation.
Finally, it is worth noting that it was reported that Alpha Natural Resources, one of the nation’s largest coal producers, will file for bankruptcy today. The main reason coal prices have gone down by over 70% since 2011 is the threat of EPA’s power plant rules.