UMN Expert: Repeal of Clean Power Plan

IonE's Ellen Anderson

The Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the agency is taking steps to repeal the Clean Power Plan that would have set national standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

According to Ellen Anderson—executive director of the Energy Transition Lab at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment and expert on law, energy and sustainability—with or without the Clean Power Plan, emissions would be reduced anyway as coal-fired electricity continues to decline and as several states are likely to meet their Clean Power Plan goals.

“Regardless of the Clean Power Plan, coal-fired electricity will continue its steep decline.  Recent analysis shows that even if repealed, electricity emissions would fall 27-35% below 2005 levels by 2030 – potentially meeting the Obama Administration’s target of a 26-28 percent reduction by 2025.  However, emissions would decline even further if the rule had gone into effect.  Twenty-five states, including Minnesota, are likely to meet their CPP goals regardless.  When U.N. climate negotiators convene in Bonn, Germany next month, official Presidential actions will be weighed against hundreds of corporations, cities, states and universities that have pledged to meet the Paris agreement and are driving progress towards the U.S. commitment.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that greenhouse gas emissions are a threat to public health that must be regulated, so litigation is a certainty.  Electric utilities and their investors make long-term planning decisions, and dislike regulatory uncertainty.”

Ellen Anderson
Executive Director, Energy Transition Lab, University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment

Former Minnesota State Senator, senior advisor on energy and environment to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Contact information:
612-626-1202  (office)
651-216-0010 (cell)

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