Supreme Court Stay of EPA Clean Power Plan
Late on Tuesday, the US Supreme Court issued a stay of the EPA Clean Power Plan. As a result, the EPA cannot take actions to implement the rule until legal challenges are heard and resolved. This means that states most likely do not have to file their preliminary plans with the EPA in September.
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and NJ Board of Public Utilities have both had staff working to evaluate the steps for New Jersey to take and what type of plan to submit, even though we were one of 29 states seeking the stay.
Wednesday morning, the Clean Air Council was briefed by DEP staff on the issue.
Why this is good for NJ:
The Clean Power Plan would have required states to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a specific percentage over the next several years. But New Jersey has already been reducing its greenhouse gases; in fact, it’s a leader in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Power Plan didn’t provide the state any credit for many of the actions of our businesses and utilities.
When looking at the different states, New Jersey was given some of the most stringent goals. In fact, it was the most stringent in the entire PJM region (electric grid). Ironically, power plant emissions are not the state’s biggest problem. While power plant emissions account for the majority of GHG emissions in the country, the biggest emitter in New Jersey is transportation.
Clean Air Council Public Hearing:
The Clean Air Council will take up this topic at the annual public hearing, April 28, 2016. More information can be found here. There is a wealth of information related to the CPP as well. The DEP also has a breakdown on the rough accounting for a hypothetical NJ rate based program (in 2030 based on 2012 electric generation).