EPA's Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units

August 27, 2018

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Introduction

The EPA has proposed to repeal the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions guidelines for electric generating units issued on October 23, 2015—better known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Agency has also sought comment separately on what, if anything, ought to replace it. I have filed a comment in that separate ANPRM docket with a number of suggestions for what a replacement rule might look like. I also filed an earlier comment in December 2014, offering advice to states on the best method of complying with the then-proposed CPP.

This comment will focus on the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) that supported EPA’s 2015 CPP final rule. Quite apart from the Agency’s interpretation of its authority under the Clean Air Act, the deficiencies in the 2015 RIA are severe, and by themselves form a compelling basis for repeal of the CPP. EPA has proposed revisions to the RIA that would make a substantial improvement in its accuracy, and that also would undermine the Agency’s earlier claim that the benefits of the CPP outweighed the costs. Moreover, in many areas the proposed revisions do not go far enough in correcting the distortions of the original RIA. The comment below, often drawing on earlier comments and commentary, outlines those areas where the agency made major errors in the 2015 RIA, and where it could go further to improve the analysis.