Understanding State Implementation Options Under the Clean Power Plan

July 31, 2015

Since June 2013, the Georgetown Climate Center has played a leading role in facilitating dialogues with states and power companies about the Clean Power Plan and outlining potential compliance options.  More than half of U.S. states have participated in our Clean Power Plan discussions, and the Center has published a number of papers highlighting the different options that states may pursue.

Below is a summary of some of those approaches and links to relevant Georgetown Climate Center papers.  
 

Developing State Plans with Common Interstate Elements

As states and stakeholders consider options to comply with EPA's Clean Power Plan requirements to cut carbon pollution from the power sector, there is growing interest in developing individual state plans that give power companies the option of working across multiple states to achieve compliance.

Multi-state strategies provide opportunities to reduce compliance costs, align with regional electricity markets, improve administrative efficiency, increase reliability, and respond to uncertainties and changes. State plans could include language that would enable them to be "trading-ready," with the option to opt-into a multi-state program should they decide to allow power companies to comply using a market-based approach. Below are a couple of Georgetown Climate Center papers on this topic:

 

Potential Compliance Pathways

The Georgetown Climate Center released a policy brief in January 2015 highlighting six potential approaches states could use to comply with EPA's proposed plan to cut carbon pollution from the power sector. This overview also compares key characteristics of each potential compliance approach, including: rate-based and mass-based trading programs, state-driven or utility-driven portfolio approaches, a state commitment approach, and a carbon fee. For each approach, the document identifies requirements, key state authorities, potential tracking or accounting platforms, and mechanisms to link to other state programs.

 

Related: State Data for Use in Implementation Stories

The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Energy Analysis Tool contains multiple energy and carbon pollution data sets and is available online at http://energy.georgetownclimate.org/view-state-climate-and-energy-profiles