The Homer City decision increases uncertainty—but rewards forward thinking.
Ken Colburn (firstname.lastname@example.org) and David Farnsworth are senior associates at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). John Shenot is an associate, Camille Kadoch is a research and policy analyst, Elizabeth Watson is energy and environment fellow, and Rebecca Wigg is a communications associate at RAP.
The D.C. Circuit’s Homer City decision doesn’t eliminate the uncertainty about environmental regulations that has vexed public utility commissions, the utilities they regulate, and the investment community for more than a decade. At a minimum, it extends that uncertainty farther into the future, and arguably adds new levels of uncertainty where issues had been largely resolved.
No regrets, risk-reducing solutions—incorporating energy efficiency and demand response, including clean distributed generation—can cut through the fog of uncertainty and serve the public interest regardless of how these issues unfold. In the wake of Homer City, these risk-mitigation concepts make as much sense today as they did before the D.C. Circuit issued its CSAPR decision.