EPA takes first step toward a rule for existing gas plants

By Jean Chemnick | 03/27/2024 04:16 PM EDT

The agency has opened a “non-regulatory docket” to collect comments before it writes a climate rule for the existing gas fleet.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan speaks with the media.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan is shepherding climate rules for gas-fired power plants. Francis Chung/POLITICO

EPA began taking public comment Tuesday on how it should regulate carbon dioxide from operating gas-fired power plants.

The agency’s “non-regulatory docket” offers a chance for state air regulators, private sector stakeholders and the public to weigh in before it writes a new climate rule for the existing gas fleet. Comments will be accepted through May 28.

EPA is asking for comments on the kinds of carbon control technology that should be the new rule’s “best system of emissions reduction.” Other questions included whether the agency should allow trading between emission sources under the new rule and, if so, whether it should include safeguards to ensure trading doesn’t subject neighboring communities to added air pollution.


States and utilities have favored trading and averaging provisions as a way to reduce regulatory costs. But communities near the plants have argued that those programs allow cleaner facilities in one region to make up for dirtier ones that are frequently near minority and poor populations.