September 18, 2014
A top air office official is pledging to take steps to ease states' compliance with EPA's greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing power plants, with the agency slated to release guidance on how to translate its rate-based GHG targets to mass-based measures, as well as a policy for verifying reductions from energy efficiency programs.
In addition, Joe Goffman, EPA's associate assistant administrator for climate and senior counsel for EPA's air office, said in Sept. 18 remarks that the agency could rework interim 2020 emissions goals that states must meet under the existing source performance standards (ESPS) but which many states have urged the agency to drop because they require such steep reductions.
"It seems to us that will be something we will have to analyze very, very carefully," Goffman said of the interim targets. The agency will have to revisit the issue "to the point of providing additional analysis that concludes we got it more or less right, or if we can't come to that conclusion, look at ways of changing that feature."
Goffman's remarks during an event at the Georgetown Climate Center in Washington, D.C., did not include specific announcements of new guidance or a different approach to the GHG rule's targets, but they underscore that EPA is actively considering several major requests from states and utilities.