Last week, following a presentation to state officials, EPA released a You Tube video entitled Clean Air Act and Upcoming Carbon Pollution Guidelines for Existing Power Plants. The presentation is the first indication of the how the agency will address President Obama’s June 25th Climate Change policy directive to propose New Source Performance Standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants.
The majority of the video provides a primer on Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, setting up the framework for how EPA’s authority under that provision will be used to craft a “cost-effective” and “flexible” program to reduce GHGs from existing power plants. As indicated by its title, EPA does not plan to use Section 111 to set explicit limitations on GHG emissions. Rather it will set “binding guidelines” that set goals for states to implement. EPA expects to propose a rule for existing power plants by early summer 2014 and is seeking informal input now from interested parties.
In contrast, the revised proposed rules setting carbon pollution standards for new power plants will contain specific emissions limits. Those re-proposed rules are due from EPA by September 20th.