How EPA can establish a U.S. GHG Program for the Electricity Sector.
David P. Littell is a commissioner on the Maine Public Utilities Commission, and served as vice chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in 2012 and 2013, and as its chairman in 2010 and 2011. This article is based on unpublished comments the author presented at industry events in September and November 2013. This article represents his views and not those of any organization.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward to establish a Federal Clean Air Act program to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the electric power sector. It has already proposed rules for new power generators and will do so soon for existing electricity generators.
The EPA can draw from the experiences of 10 states, representing 29 percent of the U.S. economy, and two provinces, representing 32 percent of the Canadian economy, which have carbon markets in operation valued at over $1 billion. The five-year old Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to address greenhouse gas emissions. California and Quebec are now implementing economy-wide GHG reductions programs launching their power sector components a year ago in 2013.