November 7, 2014
U.S. EPA moved yesterday to show states what their responsibilities would be if they choose to use cap-and-trade programs to comply with a landmark federal draft rule aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
In a long-promised clarification memo, EPA said states would be allowed to turn carbon intensity targets into "carbon budgets," letting them comply with the rule via policies that limits emissions on an annual basis.
Gabriel Pacyniak of the Georgetown Climate Center said states might opt for a "carbon budget" approach in part because it's easier to administer than the rate-based target. All a state would need to do is measure emissions from power plants, rather than using a complex equation considering demand-side energy efficiency efforts and other factors.