States ask EPA for help on climate rule plans

States ask EPA for help on climate rule plans
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More than a dozen states have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give them more information on how to form implementation plans for the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants. 

The rule — the Clean Power Plan — has been stayed by the Supreme Court while litigation against it proceeds. But states are still able to form plans to implement the carbon reduction goals set out in the rule, and fourteen sent EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe a letter on Thursday asking for guidance on how to do that. 

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"The final resolution of this litigation is uncertain,” the states wrote. “However, having more information about how states might comply with the Clean Power Plan should it be upheld will better inform state engagement and agency decision-making.”

The letter said the EPA has agreed to provide technical assistance for state plan development, but that it wanted officials to provide “a final model or rules” for them to consult. 

“Of course, the relevance of such a rule will depend on the outcome of litigation, however our states would find the information helpful in the near term for the planning purposes described above,” they wrote.

Environmental regulators from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington all signed the letter.

Th Supreme Court’s February stay order means states opposed to the Clean Power Plan can stop working on their implementation strategies. But EPA officials, including Administrator Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyOvernight Energy: Former EPA chiefs say Trump has abandoned agency's mission | Trump in Iowa touts ethanol and knocks Biden | Greens sue Trump over drilling safety rollbacks | FDA downplays worries over 'forever chemicals' Overnight Energy: Former EPA chiefs say Trump has abandoned agency's mission | Trump in Iowa touts ethanol and knocks Biden | Greens sue Trump over drilling safety rollbacks | FDA downplays worries over 'forever chemicals' Bipartisan former EPA chiefs say Trump administration has abandoned agency's mission MORE, have said they’re willing to work with states that voluntarily put together carbon reduction measures while litigation against the rule moves forward. 

“From my perspective, the conversations [with states] have always been robust on the Clean Power Plan since before we even started it, and there is no waning on that robustness,” McCarthy said earlier this month.