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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Photograph provided by Shutter Stock

Division for Air Quality

On February 9, 2016, the United States Supreme Court ordered a stay of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Twenty-five states, including the Commonwealth of Kentucky, petitioned the Court to stay EPA’s final rule, released on August 3, 2015, titled “Carbon Pollutant Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” also known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP).  The rule establishes emission guidelines for certain existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs) pursuant to Clean Air Act Section 111(d).  Under this rule, EPA set state-specific carbon dioxide (CO2) emission targets that obligated Kentucky to reduce its CO2 emissions 39% by 2030. 
 
Due to the legal vulnerabilities and potential economic impacts to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Governor Matt Bevin released a statement applauding the Supreme Court’s decision.  In a February 20, 2016 news release, the Energy and Environment Cabinet further reinforced Kentucky’s position regarding the Clean Power Plan, by deferring plans to conduct listening sessions on the rulemaking and to gather input on possible compliance options until litigation is settled.
 
On August 13, 2015, the Commonwealth filed an Emergency Petition for Extraordinary Relief in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, seeking a stay of EPA’s 111(d) rule finalized on August 3, 2015.  Similar litigation ultimately led to a stay of the rule by the U.S. Supreme Court until the order of stay is lifted.  Further briefing is scheduled later this spring with oral arguments planned in June 2016.
 
The Energy and Environment Cabinet also submitted extensive comments in opposition to the rulemakings to the federal docket throughout the rulemaking process.
 
·       January 21, 2016 - Kentucky submitted comments on the proposed federal plan, model trading rules, and CAA 111 framework amendments.
·       November 26, 2014 - Kentucky submitted comments regarding the proposed federal 111(d) rule to the EPA.  
·       October 16, 2014 - Kentucky submitted comments regarding the proposed rulemaking, Carbon Pollution Standards for Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (EGUs).
·       April 22, 2014Kentucky submitted comments regarding the reissuance of the proposed Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (EGUs).

The Commonwealth also filed a Petition for Reconsideration with EPA on December 21, 2015, regarding the 111(d) rule affecting existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units. The Petition asked EPA for reconsideration of the rule because the final rule contained regulatory requirements that were not available for comment in the proposed rulemaking.
 
Timeline of EPA’s Rulemaking:
·       October 23, 2015 – EPA published the following in the Federal Register
(1) Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, Final Rule (80 FR 64662, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602)
(2) Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed on or before January 8, 2014, Proposed Rule (80 FR 64966, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0199); and
(3) Proposed Model Trading Rules; Amendments to Framework Regulations Proposed Rule published in the Federal Register (80 FR 64966, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0199).
·       August 3, 2015 - EPA released the final rule “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Sources: Electric Generating Units.”(80 FR 64661, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602)
·       November 6, 2014 - EPA released a notice in support of the proposed “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Source Electric Generating Units” outlining additional information regarding the translation of emission rate-based CO2 goals that are mass based equivalents. (79 FR 67406)
·       October 28, 2014 - EPA releases a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) in support of the proposed “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units.” (79 FR 64543)
·       June 18, 2014 – EPA published the following in the Federal Register:
(1)  Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units; Proposed Rule (79 FR 34829, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602); and
(2)  Carbon Pollution Standards for Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units; Proposed Rule (79 FR 34859, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602).
·       January 8, 2014 – EPA published the re-proposed “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (EGUs); Proposed Rule” under section 111(b) of the CAA in the Federal Register (79 FR 1429).
·       November 6, 2013 - President Obama issues Executive Order 13653 – Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate change.
June 25, 2013 – President Obama announces The President’s Climate Action Plan for reducing carbon emissions.