4 Reasons States and Utilities Should Keep Reducing Carbon Emissions
As we mentioned here a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled to temporarily freeze implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. However, many states and utilities are still moving towards compliance with the plan. This GreenBiz article presents four compelling reasons why.
1. The Clean Power Plan is legally solid. The Supreme Court itself has ruled in the past that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Also, the absence of Justice Scalia may increase the chances that the plan will ultimately be upheld. States that continue to improve their clean energy infrastructure in the meantime will have a big advantage.
2. Many states already have existing clean energy targets. With or without the Clean Power Plan, states and utilities need to keep working to meet those goals.
3. Clean energy is good for the economy. Energy efficiency programs save consumers money. Renewable energy tax credits make this an excellent time to invest in new projects. And the wind and solar industries are creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
4. Companies are demanding clean energy. As corporations set their own energy efficiency targets, they increasingly need access to wind and solar power. States and utilities that can provide this are more likely to attract business.
There’s another big reason for states to reduce emissions – the health and well-being of their residents. However people might feel about climate change or government regulation, we can all agree that cleaner air and water is a good thing.
By Kristin Igusky, contributor to GreenBiz
On Feb. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP, which aims to reduce states’ power sector emissions, is being challenged in the D.C. Circuit appeals court by a number of states, corporations and industry groups. Importantly, this “stay” was not a ruling on the merits of the CPP; the D.C. Circuit court will hear arguments on the merits of the case June 2. The stay will last until the case is fully resolved, likely by the Supreme Court in 2017 or 2018.
Despite the stay, EPA is continuing to provide states with tools and support to comply with the CPP and cut emissions from their power sectors. Many states have affirmed (PDF) that their plans to comply with the CPP remain unchanged, and numerous utilities have stated they will continue reducing carbon pollution.
Here are four reasons why states and utilities should continue reducing emissions from their power sectors:
1. Experts say the Clean Power Plan is on firm legal ground.
The Supreme Court has said three separate times that the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon pollution, and experts say the Clean Power Plan is legally solid. The temporary stay gives parties time to make their case before the D.C. Circuit before states formally implement the plan. By continuing to prepare for the CPP, states will have time to design smart strategies and maximize economic benefits from investments in energy efficiency and clean energy.
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