Home
Policy

U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) on August 3, 2015 (80 F.R. 64661).  The final rule requires states to collectively reduce carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 32% below 2005 levels in the next 15 years – more stringent than the 30% reductions proposed in the draft rule.  While the year of the final goal remains the same (2030), the year for compliance with interim goals was changed from 2020 to 2022.  A significant amount of flexibility is afforded to states to meet their interim goals between 2022 – 2029. 

The EPA has encouraged states to use energy efficiency as a significant component of compliance strategies. Energy efficiency can simultaneously held states achieve the necessary carbon emission reductions while also supporting local economic development and improving economic reliability. According to the EPA, “the Clean Power Plan’s flexible compliance options allow states to fully deploy EE to help meet their state goals.”

MEEA’s Activities

Comments

On June 16, 2016 the U.S. EPA released the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) Design Details for comment. MEEA was pleased to see that the proposed CEIP Design Details incorporate several of the recommendations MEEA offered in its comments to the EPA on the CEIP as proposed in the final Clean Power Plan. On August 25, 2016, MEEA submitted a set of comments to respond to the U.S. EPA’s request for input on several aspects of the proposed CEIP Design Details, to strengthen the design of the CEIP and to ensure that the program better achieves its multiple goals.

In August 2016, MEEA submitted testimony to the EPA on the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) Design Details. 

In January 2016, MEEA submitted comments to the EPA on its EM&V Guidance, as well as joint stakeholder comments on Model Trading Rules and the Proposed Federal Plan.    

In December 2015, MEEA provided written comments on the EPA’s proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). Those comments are available here.

MEEA submitted comments to the North Dakota Department of Health, in order to help the agency understand the valuable role that energy efficiency can play in the state’s least-cost strategy for compliance with the Clean Power Plan.

MEEA supported the inclusion of energy efficiency as a compliance option and submitted joint comments to the EPA, along with the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and the South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource, on the treatment of energy efficiency within the proposed rule.  MEEA’s comments on the proposed rule are available here

Outreach to State Air Regulatory Offices

MEEA continues to reach out to the state air regulatory agencies in each of the 13 states within our footprint to gain an understanding of the questions they face when considering the ways in which energy efficiency can assist in achieving their emissions reductions goals.  Additionally, MEEA continues to build relationships with EPA Headquarters and the Regional Offices who will be responsible for reviewing and approving state plans. 

Clean Power Plan Working Group

In June 2015, MEEA launched the Clean Power Plan Working Group (CPPWG).  Membership in the CPPWG is limited to those members who represent an energy efficiency-related business.  The CPPWG represents an opportunity to share information, develop a strategy for engaging with states, and developing a suite of resources to promote energy efficiency as the cornerstone of a least-cost state plan. To that end, the working group created this resource guide to help incorporate energy efficiency in state compliance plans.  If you are interested in joining the CPPWG, contact Julia Friedman at jfriedman@mwalliance.org

Presentations and Webinars

MEEA presented on the Clean Power Plan at the Illinois Energy Efficiency Stakeholder Advisory Group monthly meeting on September 28, 2015. That presentation can be found here.

MEEA hosted a webinar on the Mechanics of Using Energy Efficiency for Compliance with the Clean Power Plan, shortly after the release of the final Clean Power Plan in August. 


Quick Resources to Understand the Clean Power Plan:


What the Clean Power Plan Means for Our 13 States

Relative to the draft rule, all but three states in MEEA’s territory (Michigan, Minnesota and South Dakota) have more stringent 2030 emissions reduction goals.  However, six states in MEEA’s territory have less stringent interim goals in the final rule when compared to the draft while seven have interim goals. 

Energy efficiency policies currently on the books helped position state’s in MEEA’s footprint as the baseline would have been higher without EE.  Looking forward, states pursuing least-cost compliance plans can use EE as it is the region’s lowest cost energy resource.  Energy efficiency is the cheapest energy resource in the Midwest at an average of $14 per megawatt hour. New natural gas-fired power plants are three times more expensive. (LBNL 2014, Lazard 2013)


Compliance Timeline

The timeline for compliance has also been pushed back a year in some instances.  The new timeline is:

  • September 6, 2016 – submission of (a) a complete plan or (b) an initial plan with a request for an extension.
  • September 6, 2017 – submission of a progress update for states that received an extension
  • September 6, 2018 – submission of final plans

State Actions in Response to Release of Final Clean Power Plan

Several states in MEEA’s territory have initiated planning activity in response to the release of the Final Clean Power Plan. In some cases, stakeholder engagement processes that were initiated following the release of the proposed Clean Power Plan have continued, with a focus now on possible state approaches to compliance. As state lead agencies continue to develop their planning processes, MEEA is tracking opportunities for our members to engage in these processes and shape state approaches to meeting their carbon emission targets.

Indiana

  • Lead agency: Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management (IDEM)
  • Contact: Scott Deloney, sdeloney@idem.IN.gov, (317) 233-5694
  • Next Clean Power Plan stakeholder meeting: Currently unscheduled
  • IDEM Presentation from Clean Power Plan stakeholder meetings held during the week of August 17, 2015

Iowa

  • Lead agency: Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Contact: Marnie Stein, Marnie.Stein@dnr.iowa.gov, (515) 725-9555
  • Upcoming Clean Power Plan stakeholder meetings:
    • Thursday, January 14, 2016 in Cedar Falls, location TBA

    • Monday, February 22, 2016 in Council Bluffs, location TBA

    • Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in Mason City, location TBA

    • Iowa has conducted two meetings to engage stakeholders in the state’s process of developing a compliance plan. More information on and materials from Iowa’s Clean Power Plan stakeholder process can be found here.

Michigan

  • Lead Agency: Michigan DEQ
  • Contact Person: Valerie Brader, Michigan Agency for Energy, and Dan Wyant, Michigan DEQ.
  • Michigan has announced that it will develop its own plan to comply with the Clean Power Plan, and has conducted modeling to determine the state’s path for compliance.
  • Michigan has stated that it will launch its Clean Power Plan website in mid-January, and this will include information on how to be involved in the state’s upcoming stakeholder process. It will also give the public an opportunity to comment on the state’s compliance plan development.

Minnesota

  • Lead agency: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
  • Contact: Katie Izzo, Katie.izzo@state.mn.us, (651) 757-2595
  • Minnesota has conducted several meetings to engage stakeholders in the state’s process of developing a compliance plan. 
  • Next Clean Power Plan stakeholder meeting:
    •  Unscheduled 
  • The MPCA has posted a request for comments as it begins to assess potential pathways for compliance with the Clean Power Plan’s emission guidelines.  Interested parties may submit comments to Katie Izzo. There is no deadline for submittal of comments.  Any comments submitted before the MPCA initiates rulemaking will not necessarily enter the formal record.  The agency is requesting public input on the following aspects of compliance:
    • Electricity system impact
    • Environmental impact
    • Flexibility, enforceability and applicability
    • Multistate approaches
    • Equity
    • General issues

Missouri 

  • Lead agency: Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources (MDNR)
  • Contact: Kyra L. Moore, Director, MDNR Air Pollution Control Program; kyra.moore@dnr.mo.gov, (573) 751-7840
  • Missouri has conducted two meetings to engage stakeholders in the state’s process of developing a compliance plan.
  • Next Clean Power Plan stakeholder meeting: unscheduled

North Dakota 

  • Lead Agency: North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH)
  • Upcoming Clean Power Plan stakeholder meeting: unscheduled
  • North Dakota held a series of stakeholder meetings in November to engage stakeholders in the state’s process of making threshold decisions with respect to the Clean Power Plan.
  • MEEA submitted comments to the North Dakota Department of Health, in order to help the agency understand the valuable role that energy efficiency can play in the state’s least-cost strategy for compliance with the Clean Power Plan.

Ohio

Multistate Activity

States in the Midcontinent Region (AR, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, OH, SD, WI): Bipartisan Policy Center and Great Plains Institute one-day workshop on Clean Power Plan implementation options.  October 19, 2015, from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Little Rock, AR.

Understanding the Options for the Midcontinent

MEEA States Currently Suing EPA on Final Clean Power Plan

Upon release of the final Clean Power Plan on August 3, 2015, 15 states filed an Application for an Administrative Stay of the rule with the D.C. Circuit.  The states are requesting that the court stay the deadlines imposed by the final rule, “pending completion of the impending litigation regarding the Rule’s legality.” Of those 15 states, the following are MEEA States: Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Parties have until 60 days after the Clean Power Plan is published in the Federal Register to file lawsuits against the EPA.  

The Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015. Upon its release, a coalition of 24 states sued the EPA over the regulation in the D.C. Circuit, requesting a stay of the rule while the courts determine its legality. 9 MEEA states are a part of this coalition: Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.