EPA’s Carbon Rule: State Goals

by Bill Chameides | June 3rd, 2014
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

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State-specific info
In writing the new regulation for existing power plants, EPA took into account state-specific information. Visit the agency’s
“Where You Live” map for details.

How much does each state need to reduce its carbon load to comply with the federal government’s landmark carbon rule?

Since yesterday’s unveiling of the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon rule for existing power plants, TheGreenGrok has been rooting around in the details.

One of the signature features is the flexibility each state will have in implementing how to reach its state-specific goal. The reductions needed to reach the state goals in 2030 vary immensely as you can see in the chart below.

State-by-state mandated emissions reductions

A key feature of the proposed new regulation of existing power plants is the flexibility for states to meet their specific emissions-reduction goals. The chart shows the required cuts in emissions in 2030 compared to where states are now (using data from 2012). (Click image for larger view.)

The state of Washington is expected to cut its emissions by 72 percent whereas Wyoming’s reduction goal is 19 percent and Texas’s is 39 percent. Vermont has no goal as it has no power plants that would be impacted by the rule.

Part of the reason for the wide variation is that EPA took into account a number of state-specific factors including building on emissions-reducing plans already on the books as well as the energy mix and the opportunities to shift to lower carbon sources of energy.

Check out more info on states here.

Is it legal? Given the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (which directs states to clean up their emissions to reduce pollution of other downwind states), it would seem to be. Is it fair? Well, I guess that depends on where you live and whether you subscribe to the notion that fair means equal.

filed under: carbon dioxide emissions, climate change, energy, faculty, fossil fuels, global warming, policy, pollution
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