Eileen Claussen's Statement on EPA's Carbon Emissions Standard for Power Plants

Statement of Eileen Claussen
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

June 2, 2014

EPA’s proposal today to reduce carbon pollution from power plants is an important, and long overdue, turning point in America’s response to climate change. From first impressions, it appears EPA is trying to strike the right balance – a rule that’s strong enough to drive real action, yet flexible enough for states and utilities to meet it at a reasonable cost.

We, like many others, continue to believe that economy-wide carbon pricing is the best approach. But as long as this Congress won’t act, the law and the science demand that the administration use the tools at its disposal.

Given the complexities and the stakes, it looks as if EPA has done a credible job on a tough issue. It’s clear the agency has taken to heart what it’s heard from states and utilities, and is trying to offer considerable flexibility so they can figure out their own best way to meet the standard. What’s especially important is that the rule would allow states to build on the existing cap-and-trade programs in California and the Northeast and allow other market-based approaches. Letting states use carbon pricing is the best way to cut emissions cost-effectively.

Everyone needs time to digest the proposal, and certainly many will have issues. But in our view, EPA’s proposal is a good starting point for getting to a rule that delivers significant carbon cuts while ensuring the reliability and affordability of our electricity supply.

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To interview a C2ES expert, contact Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org or 703-516-0621

For additional resources on EPA regulation of power plant carbon emissions, see: