How the power plant rule could change as its deadline nears

By Jean Chemnick | 04/11/2024 06:47 AM EDT

Details in the climate rule are shifting as EPA prepares its release.

Wind turbines and a power plant along a wooded ridge in West Virginia.

Wind turbines are visible behind the Mount Storm power station in West Virginia. Chip Somodevilla/AFP via Getty Images

EPA’s marquee climate rule for power plants is entering the home stretch.

Two people who have spoken to administration officials about the rule say potential changes are on the table to make the rule’s toughest emissions standards apply to more gas-fired facilities. They also say the administration is mulling changes to the deadlines in last May’s draft. The most likely change involves giving utilities more time to retrofit plants with carbon capture equipment. A final rule is expected this month.

Environmentalists filed comments with EPA last year asking for changes that would make more gas plants subject to the rule’s strictest standards for reducing greenhouse gases. They also asked for earlier retirement deadlines for plants that would not be retrofitted. And utilities pleaded for more time to build out carbon capture and storage systems.


Ann Weeks, senior counsel and legal director at the Clean Air Task Force, which last year joined the Natural Resources Defense Council in calling on EPA to require deep cuts from a broader swath of gas plants, said EPA’s decision in February to jettison existing gas from this rule made that request more urgent.