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EPA asks for more comments on Clean Power Plan

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World Coal,

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to seek further comments from stakeholders on its proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), raising the possibility of more flexibility in the implementation of its regulations.

"The EPA notice requesting comments on alternatives for its ‘Costly Power Plan’ is a frank admission that the plan is a 'glorious mess' forcing the agency to deploy procedural belts and suspenders to hold it together,” said Hal Quinn, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, in response.

In a Notice of Data Availability (NODA), the agency said it is seeking comment on three aspects of the CPP: the 2020 – 2029 trajectory for emissions reductions; the CPP’s building blocks; and calculating state specific CO2 reduction goals (Utility Dive has an excellent summary of these issues here).

Such tweaks are unlikely to please Quinn, who slammed the agency for rejecting a series of studies showing the CPP would result in significant increases in energy bills: "It may be easy to dismiss the obvious when you cannot explain what your own rule actually requires, but there should be no mistake about the direction EPA's plan will take American's energy bills – and that is straight up from here.”

“The EPA's assurances to the contrary inspire little confidence. After all, this is the same agency whose cost estimate for its last power plant rules has proven to be underestimated by at least a factor of ten," he concluded.

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