Power Plan Hub

Electric regulators talk EPA rule as suing states explore compliance

State electric regulators meet in Austin this week for the first time since the final Clean Power Plan came out in August.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' annual meeting is expected to draw at least 1,200 electricity world insiders, from state and federal officials to energy company representatives and clean energy advocates.

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will give the keynote speech this afternoon, and panels through Wednesday will focus on what role various fuels will play under the rule and how to preserve baseload power and grid reliability while integrating greener electricity, as well as how states can use multistate trading systems to meet their individual goals.

As Elizabeth Harball reports in today's ClimateWire, most of the states challenging the rule in court are still making some progress on exploring options for cutting their carbon emissions.

"We'll be listening carefully (at the NARUC meeting) to whether states are kind of transitioning into compliance mode, trying to really figure out how to craft at least initial plans," said Paul Allen, senior vice president at the consulting firm M.J. Bradley & Associates (EnergyWire, Nov. 6).

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Get a preview of Harball's story in Friday's The Cutting Edge. Check out E&E's new Power Plan Hub map and graphic that detail where each state stands.

The National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates will also meet in Austin.

Reporters Emily Holden and Edward Klump will report from the meetings.

Meanwhile, the Edison Electric Institute will host utility executives at a financial conference near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this week, and the Clean Power Plan is sure to be a topic of discussion. Reporter Rod Kuckro will attend.

And EPA kicks off its first public listening sessions on the last unfinalized portion of the Clean Power Plan this week in Pittsburgh.

Agency officials will hear feedback on a proposed federal plan and model trading rules. Three other two-day meetings will follow, in Denver; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta, over the next two weeks.

EPA will hold a webinar Thursday at 1 p.m. EST on the proposed federal plan and another new section of the rule, the Clean Energy Incentive Program. The CEIP would allocate extra compliance credit to states that build wind and solar energy generation and install energy efficiency measures in low-income communities between 2020 and 2022.

Official comments in the Federal Register are due by Jan. 21.

In case you missed it:

  • Nearly every state has taken a side in court battles over the Clean Power Plan (Greenwire, Nov. 4). Mississippi joined suing states Thursday (EnergyWire, Nov. 6).
  • The CPP is pitting state attorneys general against governors (Greenwire, Nov. 6).
  • A House panel voted to block the Clean Power Plan, but it's unlikely either chamber of Congress would have the votes to override a presidential veto of the measure challenging the rule (E&E News PM, Nov. 3).
  • North Carolina will write a backup plan for cutting carbon emissions in case EPA rejects its initial "inside the fenceline" proposal for being too limited (EnergyWire, Nov. 5).
  • The Midwest Independent System Operator is studying how decisions by states to choose rate- or mass-based compliance strategies could affect the generation mix within its 15-state footprint (EnergyWire, Nov. 5). Another grid operator, the Southwest Power Pool, is pressuring state governments to submit plans, rather than refuse to comply, in order to ensure electric reliability (ClimateWire, Nov. 2).
  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is updating guidelines for assessing the safe life span for nuclear reactors, which could affect nuclear's role in Clean Power Plan compliance (EnergyWire, Nov. 6).

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