State Clean Power Plan Resources

The publication of the final Clean Power Plan kicked off a multi-year process involving states, the electric industry, environmental and ratepayer advocacy groups, other stakeholders, and the EPA.  Initially, the rule required each state to submit a final plan by September 6, 2016, or request a two-year extension with a final deadline in 2018.  By 2020, an optional renewable energy and energy efficiency incentive program was scheduled to launch. The first compliance period was set to begin in 2022.

As legal battles play out and a new Administration takes office, the fate of the Clean Power Plan remains to be seen. And yet market trends, consumer preferences, and other well-established clean energy policies and incentives are moving states and utilities in a similar direction. While the materials on this page were designed for states and stakeholders engaged in the Clean Power Plan process, some of the information will be useful for states forging their own lower-carbon paths. Moreover, the design options described here could be relevant to any review or revision of the Clean Power Plan.

Background on the 2015 rule, legal analysis and additional related materials are on our Clean Air Act and Greenhouse Gases page.

If you do not see analysis of a legal implementation question that you have, tell us and we’ll do our best to generate that research or connect with a network of scholars to find answers.


Designing Emission Budget Trading Programs CoverConstitutional Issues to Consider in Clean Power Plan Compliance, Part 2: The Dormant Commerce Clause

This white paper describes the contours of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, and explains how states can design multi-state compliance strategies that do not discriminate based on origin, wholly regulate out-of-state activity, or unduly burden interstate commerce.

Designing Emission Budget Trading Programs CoverDesigning Emission Budget Trading Programs under Existing State Law

This paper analyzes existing authority to freely allocate allowances to EGUs and non-emitters, to auction allowances, and to include newly constructed sources in the program. It uses examples of specific state authority to illustrate the key legal issues.

Emission Rate Credits in the Clean Power Plan CoverEmission Rate Credits in the Clean Power Plan

This document addresses definitional and legal issues about Emission Rate Credits (ERCs). It is organized around the following three questions: 1) What are ERCs? 2) How do ERCs interact with existing tradable instruments? 3) How will EPA and states ensure the integrity of the ERC market?

EPI-CPP-Tolling-Memo-CoverEffects of the Supreme Court’s Stay on Compliance Deadlines in the Clean Power Plan

This memo discusses whether and for how long EPA may be required to toll compliance deadlines because of the Supreme Court’s stay of the rule. It concludes that EPA would likely need to toll at least some of the rule’s deadlines when the stay is ultimately lifted. But which deadlines would be tolled, and by how much time, are questions of equity that will likely be decided once the stay is lifted.

Model Rules CommentsEnvironmental Policy Initiative’s Comments on the Proposed Federal Plan and Model Trading Rules

When EPA released the final Clean Power Plan, it also proposed two model trading rules, one for rate-based trading and the other for mass-based trading. Our comments focus on aspects of the proposal that will shape the design of well-functioning trading markets.

Energy Efficiency Evaluation ToolEnergy Efficiency Evaluation Tool

This tool is intended for states and stakeholders seeking to include end-use energy efficiency programs into Clean Power Plan compliance plans.

cover info accessConstitutional Issue to Consider in Clean Power Plan Compliance, Part 1: The Compact Clause

This white paper describe the contours of the U.S. Constitution’s Compact Clause and  Section 102(c) of the Clean Air Act, and explains how states can design multi-state compliance strategies that do not require additional Congressional consent.
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cover info accessState Roles in the Clean Power Plan

This primer highlights responsibilities that states will have under the Clean Power Plan and provides an overview of basic plan design choices.

Clean Power Plan Litigation Updates

This summary of the litigation recaps substantive filings and the Supreme Court’s decision to grant applications for a stay. The most recent update summarizes briefs filed at the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.