Editor's note: The following summary represents state and utility stances after the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016.
Just after the Supreme Court stay of U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a statement that New York "remains committed to moving forward with our own actions to protect the environment and public health," including the state's goal that 50 percent of its electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.
Compared with the proposed rule, New York's requirements for emissions cuts were relaxed in the final version of the Clean Power Plan, something the state had requested given its earlier actions to lower its carbon footprint.
Cuomo praised the final rule, calling it "a robust and equitable approach to reducing America's carbon pollution" and adding that the state intends to go beyond EPA's goals.
New York participates in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. As the final rule raised the profile of interstate carbon trading, it's likely that states will look to RGGI participants like New York as an example of how to comply with EPA's new requirements.
RGGI Chairwoman Katie Dykes said the initiative demonstrates that carbon trading programs "are one of the most cost-effective ways to achieve reductions in carbon pollution while supporting reliability and growing state economies, so we're pleased to see the final rule continuing to recognize the benefits of multistate, market-based programs as a pathway for achieving compliance with the rule."
An analysis by the nonprofit Acadia Center determined states will be able to use RGGI to comply with the Clean Power Plan if the program makes only "a few minor changes."
John Rhodes, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, said in a statement that between the state's participation in RGGI and its independent initiatives to ramp up clean energy, such as its State Energy Plan, "New York fully expects to exceed the Clean Power Plan's requirements in advance of the deadline."
Rhodes added that "the final CPP addresses New York's primary concerns with the rule, recognizing the progress New York and other leadership states have already made."
Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, said in a statement that the rule "underscores the critical need for New York to develop a new long-term program to promote large-scale renewables, especially since our current Renewable Portfolio Standard program expires this year."
Radmila Miletich, legislative and environmental policy director with the Independent Power Producers of New York, agreed that EPA's targets for the state are in line with efforts already underway. After reviewing the data, Miletich noted that the state's emissions reduction target under RGGI exceeds EPA's target.
"It appears ... that New York will have achieved the requirement 10 years earlier and will be 1 million tons-plus ahead of the game," Miletich said.
Miletich also said IPPNY was pleased to see EPA had included a "safety valve" in the final rule to address reliability concerns, although her organization was still reviewing the particulars of how the mechanism would operate.
"We're glad to see that they've included electric system reliability protections. I think that's just responsible, given the forward-looking nature of the national effort," she said.
Last updated on June 22, 2016 at 2:01 PM