Guess What? The Clean Power Plan Isn’t Going to Destroy America After All.
Compliance isn’t turning out to be that much of a burden.
Here’s the headline from the Washington Post: “Outrage over EPA emissions regulations fades as states find fixes.” Senator Mitch McConnell has been telling all and sundry the plan will be a disaster and states should refuse to have anything to do with it. But even in his home state, according to the Post, the Clean Power Plan turns out not to be such a big deal:
“In this coal-industry bastion, five of the state’s older coal-burning power plants were already scheduled to close or switch to natural gas in the next two years, either because of aging equipment or to save money, state officials say. As a result, Kentucky’s greenhouse-gas emissions are set to plummet 16 percent below where they were in 2012 — within easy reach of the 18 percent reduction goal proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in a draft of the agency’s controversial carbon-cutting plan.
Kentucky doesn’t seem unique, the Post found.
And actually, it’s not so surprising that compliance turns out to be pretty doable. The plan gives states lots of compliance options, as the Post point outs. In addition, the Obama Administration is actually very big on cost-benefit analysis, so it isn’t likely they would try to impose something unworkable on the states. And of course, EPA isn’t crazy and knows that if the plan is too extreme, the backlash might get out of control.
So is McConnell going to back down? Will the states do the reasonable thing and go along with the plan? Don’t count on it.
Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…READ more