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Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.
We welcome your questions and comments.
Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
María L. González Hernández
Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni
On June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed regulation for a Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. The Plan sets state-specific goals to lower carbon pollution from power plants, and guidelines to help states develop their plans for meeting the goals.
The goal is a target states have to meet by 2030, while making meaningful progress by 2020. The EPA is not prescribing specific measures; states will have flexibility to develop their plans to achieve the needed reductions. Each state's goals are based on a number for future carbon intensity of the state. The goal for the state should reflect the fact that CO2 emissions from fossil fuel fired power plants are determined by their efficiency and intensity of operations.
States must submit their plans by June 30, 2016. States are eligible for a one year extension to June 30, 2017. In order to qualify for the extension, states must submit an initial plan by June 30, 2016 and a final plan by June 30, 2017.
Once a state submits a final plan, EPA will approve or disapprove the plan within 12 months. The approval process entails a notice and comment rule-making process. States would have up to 15 years after the plan is final for all emission reduction measures to be fully implemented in 2030.
States can choose how to meet the goals. They can choose to rely on measures such as:
• demand-side energy programs
• renewable energy standards
• efficiency improvements at plants
• co-firing or switching to natural gas
• transmission efficiency improvements
• energy storage technology
• retirement of non-efficient high CO2 plants
• expanding renewable sources
• market-based trading programs
• energy conservation programs
The proposal is President Obama's strategy to address CO2 emissions and climate change. The proposed regulation must go through a public comment period before promulgation and becoming effective. It is anticipated that the proposal will be subject to active lobbying and judicial contest.
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The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice or advertising. In addition, the above discussion has been provided in general terms and, therefore, should not be relied upon as legal advice applicable to a specific set of facts and circumstances. Before taking legal action, consult a lawyer you trust. Although we will try to be accurate, you cannot rely on its applicability to your specific problem without consulting your lawyer. Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C. and the members of the Environmental Practice Group assume no responsibility to inform you of additional changes in law or any other legal issues related to matters addressed in this email of which we may become aware after the date hereof.
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