- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signaled it will consider ways to assuage state concerns that interim C02 cuts are overly-aggressive, despite concern from environmentalists that the goals are needed for international sustainability talks.
- EPA issued a Notice of Data Availability, which is routinely used to give the public a chance to consider and comment on emerging technical issues and data. Comments are due Dec. 1.
- The agency's proposed carbon cuts come with a 2030 deadline, but steep interim goals have concerned states because the bulk of reductions occur from 2020 to 2029.
Overall, the EPA is proposing the power sector drop carbon emissions just over 19% by 2030. But between 2020 and 2029 comes the bulk of the work, and SNL reports that states are worried that aggressive targets early on will restrict their ability to make policy and meet goals.
The problem, according to SNL's analysis, is that the bulk of a state's overall reduction target is contained in interim targets. The news outlet reports that interim reductions make up about 83% of all reductions in the impacted 49 states.
EPA noted stakeholders have suggested two paths forward: one is to allow credit for early reductions, "which could provide flexibility to defer other emission reductions until later in the 2020 to 2029 period." The second suggested approach involves phasing in EPA's second "building block" for meeting the goals, which focuses on using lower‐emitting power plants more frequently and the way in which gas-fired generation is dispatched.