- While more than a dozen states and a host of coal companies are lining up to challenge the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, the Wall Street Journal reports that utilities are generally accepting the carbon mandates.
- The utility industry was already on a path to a cleaner energy future, and the new rules simply add regulatory certainty to market forces already driving change.
- Once the final rule is published in the Federal Register, possibly this month, about 16 states are expected to file lawsuits and others will ask the White House for a delay.
There is a fight brewing against the Clean Power Plan, but for the most part, utilities won't be a part of it, the Wall Street Journal reports. President Obama's plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions largely aligns with market forces that the industry has already been following, including a greater focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“Price is a larger force in electricity markets today than what Washington is doing with regulations,” Todd Carter, president of Panda Power Funds, told the Wall Street Journal. While coal prices generally remain slightly below gas, the emissions differences have led to a gradual shift towards cleaner power.
Energy Central reports that coal companies are likely to file for an extension on the mandates, and that the September 2016 deadline for state compliance plans belies the complexity of the task ahead. "This is still an evolving industry," Abby Foster, Pennsylvania Coal Association spokeswoman, told Energy Central. "This is the first time that carbon's been regulated."
Once the final regulation is published in the Federal Register, at least 16 states have indicated they are likely to file a lawsuit. The regulations is expected to be published this month, but the legal battle will likely go on for several years, with many observers predicting the ultimate showdown will take place in the U.S. Supreme Court.