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CLIMATE:

Appeals court sets date for arguments on Clean Power Plan

A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in April on lawsuits from several states, utilities and power companies challenging U.S. EPA's proposal to set greenhouse gas standards for power plants.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said yesterday it will convene April 16 to hear the consolidated lawsuits brought by West Virginia, Murray Energy Corp. and others.

REGULATION:

Some utilities could benefit from regional cooperation on EPA's Clean Power Plan

An upcoming white paper from the consulting group ICF International will show how regional emissions trading as part of U.S. EPA's climate rule for existing power plants could benefit electric utilities in states with tougher targets.

The research, which is due this week or next, builds on growing calls from regulatory experts and regional grid operators who say states that work together to write plans for the rule will have broader options for compliance and can spread out costs more easily.

POLICY:

FERC leader sees multiple roles for her agency in EPA's power plant rule

Cheryl LaFleur, the chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, says she often tells people that FERC's role is to address "the unsexy underbelly of every energy issue."

And while the sexiness of U.S. EPA's new Clean Power Plan may be up for debate, LaFleur believes the underbelly her commission will face over the coming years is massive: the potential construction of sprawling new infrastructure; the reorganization of rules governing regional electricity markets; and piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of up to 49 different sets of state rules governing how energy is generated.

About this report

After years of political wrangling and Congressional impasse, U.S. EPA and President Obama make their boldest move yet to combat climate change. E&E tracks the lead-up, rollout and fallout from this historic proposed rule.

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