EPA fulfilled one of President Trump’s campaign promises this week with the publication of the final Affordable Clean Energy rule—ACE—to replace the Clean Power Plan. Like the Clean Power Plan, ACE is an “emission guideline” issued under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the electric utility sector. However, while the Clean Power Plan could only be achieved by shifting electricity generation away from energy resources that emit CO2, ACE only regulates sources of CO2 emissions directly by requiring efficiency improvements at coal-fired power plants.
The notice published on Monday actually contains three separate actions: (1) the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, (2) the adoption of ACE, and (3) revisions to the general regulations governing all “emission guidelines” adopted under Section 111(d). EPA asserts that each of these components constitutes a separate rulemaking action, but at least the first two are grounded in the same fundamental idea—that Section 111(d) only authorizes EPA to select as a “best system of emission reduction” something that can be “applied” to an individual regulated “stationary source” of emissions.
Continue Reading Affordable Clean Energy Replaces the Clean Power Plan