Editor's note: The following summary represents state and utility stances after the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016.
Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection is assessing the implications of the Supreme Court stay on the Clean Power Plan, according to spokeswoman Dee Ann Miller.
Florida was among 27 states that joined legal challenges to the rule. The state must cut its power-sector carbon emissions rate 25 percent by 2030, a significant difference from its original target of 38 percent.
Florida's largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Co., wants the Sunshine State to comply with U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan by requiring power plants to reach an average rate of emissions.
"Because we are in a growth state and we are a growth utility, FPL supports Florida implementing a rate-based program," FPL spokeswoman Sarah Gatewood said (EnergyWire, Dec. 16, 2015).
Florida's Department of Environmental Protection criticized the draft rule for making the state's target so stringent compared with other states. DEP called the goal "arbitrary." The agency asked EPA to allow nuclear uprates that increase power output to count toward compliance, which would help Florida.
DEP also asked that alternative fuels, such as waste-to-energy facilities, be considered as low-carbon resources.
The technical staff of the Florida Public Service Commission provided a similar response. In comments to EPA, the staff asked that the final rule not bypass the PSC's jurisdiction and take into consideration previous efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
The PSC also asked that interim goals, now between 2022 and 2030, not be mandatory. EPA's final rule requires states to meet interim goals but has made efforts to ease the trajectory.
FPL stands out as one of the electric companies that said they support the Clean Power Plan's overall goal to reduce carbon emissions and encourage investments in clean energy.
FPL, like the rest of Florida, gets the bulk of its electricity from natural gas and is making plans to increase that amount. FPL also gets 23 percent of its electricity from emissions-free nuclear.
Last updated on February 24, 2016 at 6:14 PM