- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with the Clean Energy Incentive Program, Climatewire reports, which was designed to credit states with early action in complying with the Clean Power Plan.
- The U.S. Supreme Court put a judicial stay on the CPP in February, delaying official implementation of the plan as the courts consider the new greenhouse gas rules. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear oral arguments June 2.
- Despite the stay, EPA defended the decision to move ahead with the incentives, and in a note to the White House Office of Management and Budget said the decision was consistent with the Supreme Court's decision.
The Clean Power Plan may be on hold, but the EPA is pushing on with the incentives for voluntary state actions.
The Clean Energy Incentive Program allows states that make early investments in renewables and efficiency for low-income communities to receive extra credit toward their emissions goals under the plan. Participation in the program is optional, and federal officials say they don't believe it is impacted by the Supreme Court's stay.
"Many states and tribes have indicated that they plan to move forward voluntarily to work to cut carbon pollution from power plants and have asked the agency to continue providing support and developing tools that may support those efforts, including the CEIP," EPA told OMB.
"This broad statutory language shows that Congress was directing EPA to consider a wide range of measures to reduce emissions from sources," the agency said. The Clean Power Plan is targeting a 32% reduction in carbon emissions from the power sector nationwide by 2030.