The Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to finalize the rules on carbon emissions from power plants are still several months away. But most states, even those challenging the agency in court, are already investigating ways to comply.
The EPA expects 49 states to submit plans once the rules are finalized. The non-partisan group Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development, which has been organizing talks in the Midwest on the Clean Power Plan, says 41 states have joined regional groups exploring options to comply with the rule.
“My guess would be all 49 are,” said Doug Scott, a vice president at the Great Plains Institute. “Whether they’re part of formalized groups or not, all the states are trying to figure out what the best options are.”
Many of these states have been staunchly opposed to the rule. Twelve have sued the EPA, claiming the rule is unlawful and amounts to a federal power grab. And at least half a dozen other states have set up legislative hurdles for the environmental agencies in charge of putting together a compliance plan.
Yet, the vast majority of state agencies charged with drafting a compliance plan have sidestepped these political fights and begun work on plans that might meet the EPA’s carbon reduction targets.