EPA Publishes Final Rule to Repeal and Replace Clean Power Plan

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan: the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.

The final ACE rule is significantly less stringent than the Clean Power Plan and gives states wide latitude in deciding how to regulate emissions from power plants. It defines the “best system of emissions reduction” (BSER) for greenhouse gas emissions from power plants as on-site, heat-rate efficiency improvements (often referred to as control measures that can be implemented “within the fence line” of regulated power plants). This definition excludes fuel switching and improvements to demand-side energy efficiency.

In addition, the ACE rule does not establish any numeric emission guidelines or reduction targets for states (as the Clean Power Plan did). Instead, EPA’s emission guidelines consist of a list of “candidate technologies” that are consistent with the BSER. States have the discretion to determine which technologies are appropriate for each power plant and to establish corresponding performance standards.