05/19/2023 - Power Sector Rules

EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Power Plants are Consistent with Statutory Factors and Market Trends

by Carrie Jenks, Hannah Oakes Dobie, Hannah Perls, Sara Dewey

On May 11, 2023, EPA proposed new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits and guidelines for new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. EPA first promulgated rules controlling GHG emissions from power plants in 2015, which included the Clean Power Plan that the Supreme Court struck down in West Virginia v. EPA. This proposal covers new and existing coal and natural gas-fired power plants. EPA proposes emission standards based on technologies that companies are already pursuing, which now have lower costs due to Congressional investments through the Inflation Reduction Act.

In this summary, we explain the legal basis for the rule, including EPA’s statutory mandate and relevant regulatory history. We review EPA’s proposed standards for existing coal, new gas, and existing gas units and highlight areas in which EPA is seeking comment, particularly related to the scale, timing, and pace for complying with the emission limits. We also explain the compliance timelines and state plans, EPA’s environmental justice analysis, and impacts of the proposal on climate change, public health, and grid reliability.

Read or download our paper here.