News roundup: Making sense of the EPA's carbon plan, state-by-state

6 June 2014 by Peebles Squire Peebles Squire

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Monday its intent to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. With the fervor over the rule beginning to calm five days later, people are starting to wonder what the EPA’s rules will mean for individual states.

The Washington Post’s Wonkbook blog offers a good roundup of its own, synthesizing coverage from across the country and reaching a familiar conclusion—The economy will not suffer, and there is still much work to do:

  • EPA has drafted a proposed rule that is meant to achieve greenhouse gas reductions in as cost-effective a way as possible and has proposed moderate, not extreme, cuts by 2030.
  • "States will have broad flexibility, meaning that reductions in coal use will come not only from relying more on other power sources, but also from making homes and buildings more efficient, both of which are already happening.
  • "Despite fears that the Obama administration's proposed rule to curb carbon-dioxide pollution could wreak severe damage on the economy, the true effect is likely to be much more modest… The Environmental Protection Agency, in announcing plans Monday to reduce power plant emissions 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels, estimated that the measure will cost up to $8.8 billion annually for compliance. It noted that the health and social benefits from the cleaner air probably will exceed $55 billion a year by 2030, far outweighing the costs."

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and Wall Street Journal have assembled a bevy of useful information for states, detailing one-by-one how the EPA hopes they will achieve their emissions targets:

C2ES has created a map of the United States, overlaid with useful information for each state’s proposed emissions plans:

From the Wall Street Journal – an interactive chart that breaks down the Clean Power Plan state-by-state.

We will be learning much more about the proposed rule over the next year, but these resources are a good starting point when trying to make sense of this 700-page rule.

Be sure to check out this week’s other news roundups:

Sources:

Puneet Kollipara, “Wonkbook: Obama’s new EPA rule won’t save the world, and it won’t kill the economy.” The Washington Post. 3 June 2014.

Staff, “Proposed State Emission Rate Targets.” Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Accessed 4 June 2014.

Amy Harder, “Washington Wire Blog: Sortable Chart: EPA Climate Rule, By the States.” The Wall Street Journal. 5 June 2014.