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Draft rule reduction: 38.4% (493 lbs CO2 / MWh)

Editor's note: The following summary represents state and utility stances after the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016.

Texas is among more than two dozen states challenging U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, and the Lone Star State has given no indication that it will develop a state plan.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) celebrated the Supreme Court stay of the Clean Power Plan on a conference call the day after it was announced. "The whole point of the stay was to stop us from having to provide any implementation plan," Paxton said, adding that "we’re not moving forward with anything until this case is resolved." The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality declined to comment on the Supreme Court’s move, as litigation remains pending.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) also has been critical of EPA's plan, saying last year it amounted to "unilateral executive overreach" and would lead to higher energy prices for consumers and cost jobs.

The governor cited the Clean Power Plan during a January speech in which he proposed constitutional amendments to rein in the federal government.

Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), said early this year that Texas wasn't actively moving toward developing a state plan, although that could change.

"We're still looking at what we're going to do and when we're going to do it," Shaw said. "We're hopeful that we're going to get some action from the courts."

Under the rule, Texas would need to cut its power-sector carbon emissions rate about 33 percent below 2012 levels by 2030, compared with an earlier target of more than 38 percent.

Some major power producers in the state have supported the idea of reducing carbon emissions, including NRG Energy Inc. and Austin Energy. But Luminant, a generator that's part of Energy Future Holdings Corp., has taken issue with possible effects and discussed a need for reliable and affordable supplies.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state's main grid operator, said last year that the Clean Power Plan could lead to the closure of at least 4,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation and an increase in retail power prices.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation has applauded efforts to fight EPA's carbon plan, saying it would expand EPA's power while increasing electricity costs and not providing a significant benefit in terms of global temperatures.

Environmental groups have touted potential health and climate benefits as they push for Texas to craft a state plan.

Cyrus Reed, conservation director with the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter, said in January that Texas should start preparing a plan and ask for an extension even amid litigation. That could lead to a backup plan if the rule went into effect in some form.

State Rep. Drew Darby (R) indicated in January he wasn't sure whether Texas would file for an extension, saying it was beyond his "pay grade."

"I'm simply trying to make sure, from my standpoint, that we understand what the problems are, we understand what the options are and that we come up with a Texas solution that protects Texas taxpayers and consumers," he said.

Last updated on May 13, 2016 at 5:50 PM

For questions or comments about E&E’s Power Plan Hub or related stories, please email PowerPlanHub@eenews.net.

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