California Releases Clean Power Plan Compliance Plan

While the federal government has slated the Clean Power Plan (CPP) for withdrawal, California continues to work toward compliance with the rule.  At the end of July, the California Air Resources Board released its CPP compliance plan, and expressed its belief that compliance with the CPP targets—namely the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from affected electrical generating units by one third from 2005 levels—is readily achievable.  According to the report, the compliance plan is designed to meet the CPP’s requirements and to integrate the federal targets with California’s existing climate programs, including its Cap-and-Trade Program and Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Regulation.  To ensure seamless integration, the Board notes that it has coordinated its CPP compliance efforts with the regulatory process to develop the next phases of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program and Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Regulation. In the plan, the Board expresses the hope that California’s existing suite of climate and energy sector programs will complement the federal rule and assist the state in meeting and exceeding the CPP targets.  To that end, the plan proposes to comply with the CPP through the “state measures” approach, under which the CPP would act as a federal overlay to California’s existing Cap-and-Trade Program and Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Regulation, with the goal of making the requirements of those state programs federally enforceable for the participating affected electrical generating units (other participants in the Cap-and-Trade Program will continue to have only state-enforceable obligations).

Noting the pending litigation and the EPA’s indication that it may propose revisions to the CPP, the Board indicated that it will track and respond to any proposed changes to the CPP.

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