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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 9, 2014

Questions of jurisdiction, responsibility may foreshadow legal trouble for new EPA power plant rule

Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-09 06:44:35

U.S. EPA’s proposed rule for power plant carbon gives states wide latitude in controlling their emissions, embracing fuel switching, renewable energy and energy efficiency as building blocks on the path to carbon reduction. Given the pervasiveness of carbon dioxide as the result of modern power generation, that “all of the above” approach will be needed to meet the agency’s stringent reduction targets, experts say. At the same time, they caution, the approach may prove to be the rule’s legal Achilles’ heel. [ read more … ]

In Some States, Emissions Cuts Defy Skeptics

By JUSTIN GILLIS and MICHAEL WINES, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2014-06-09 06:45:19

The cries of protest have been fierce, warning that President Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gases from power plants will bring soaring electricity bills and even plunge the nation into blackouts. By the time the administration is finished, one prominent critic said, “millions of Americans will be freezing in the dark.” Yet cuts on the scale Mr. Obama is calling for — a 30 percent reduction in emissions from the nation’s electricity industry by 2030 — have already been accomplished in parts of the country. [ read more … ]

Best of Both Worlds? Northeast Cut Emissions and Enjoyed Growth

Hannah Fairfield, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2014-06-09 06:45:53

Some critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new requirementsfor power plants argue that forcing emissions reduction will curtail economic growth. But the recent experience of states that already cap carbon emissions reveals that emissions and economic growth are no longer tightly tied together. One of the ways that states will be able to meet the new E.P.A. standards is by joining a Northeastern cap-and-trade program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which first put in a carbon cap in 2009. In a cap-and-trade system, the government places a ceiling on total carbon emissions and issues permits for those emissions, which companies can buy and sell from one another. [ read more … ]

Meeting renewable energy targets turns out to be inexpensive

By Mark Jaffe, The Denver Post  •    •  Posted 2014-06-09 06:46:14

It turns out that adding renewable energy to the electricity generation mix doesn’t end up costing all that much, in at least one case it has even saved money. In Colorado the cost came to less than a penny per kilowatt-hour in 2012. Among the 24 states with renewable portfolio standards that were analyzed, the cost of complying between 2010 and 2012 was equal on average, roughly 1 percent of retail electricity rates, according to study by two national laboratories. [ read more … ]

Southeast carbon market could be a struggle, but groundwork is there

Kristi E. Swartz, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-09 06:46:32

Joining forces to cut 30 percent of their carbon emissions by 2030 is a matter of practicality versus political ideology, environmental lawyers and advocates say. “I think it would be shortsighted for the Southeast state air regulators to not at least explore the idea,” said Stephen Smith, executive director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “I’m just not sure that the ideological inertia will let it be fully vetted.” [ read more … ]

New White House report props up Obama on health impacts

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-09 06:46:47

A White House report released today aims to reinforce President Obama’s message from earlier this week that new greenhouse gas regulations are needed because global warming threatens Americans’ health. The seven-page report illustrates the link between climate change and atmospheric ozone, particulate matter and other emissions, which the president and U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy cited Monday when promoting EPA’s newly released carbon dioxide emissions rule for existing power plants. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.