Overview: EPA Finalizes Historic Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program

Existing and new power plants face increasing complexity as EPA’s historic final rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions represents a major expansion of EPA’s regulatory authority.

August 18, 2015

In a rare presidential announcement of new agency rules, President Obama released the final rules for the Clean Power Plan (Final CPP)1 and the Carbon Pollution Standards (Final CPS) on August 3, 2015.2 The Final CPP and the Final CPS are both Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules intended to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from certain coal-fired and natural gas electric generating units (EGUs).

The Final CPP was promulgated pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA)3 and applies to CO2 emissions from existing EGUs. The Final CPP is expected to reduce national CO2 emissions by approximately 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Final CPS rule was issued pursuant to Section 111(b) of the CAA and applies to the emissions of new, modified and reconstructed EGUs. The two rules are historic because they are the first rules ever adopted by the US federal government to comprehensively control and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector. In a simultaneous rulemaking announced the same day, EPA also issued a proposed Federal Implementation Plan (Proposed FIP) for the Final CPP.

In our EPA Finalizes Historic Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program White Paper, we outline and analyze the Final CPP, the Proposed FIP and the Final CPS regulations. Additionally, our August 7 Webcast discussing the Final CPP and Proposed FIP is available on demand here. We have structured the White Paper in the following sections:

Download the full EPA Finalizes Historic Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program White Paper here.

Latham & Watkins advises a wide range of individual and coalition clients on global, US and state climate programs. For example, please see the National Climate Coalition for more information.

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