August 21, 2018

News Tip: Experts Available for Comment on Clean Power Plan Replacement

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Trump administration unveiled a draft plan today that would replace the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Tim Profeta is director of Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Profeta has worked for nearly two decades on climate policy, with a particular focus on the use of market forces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His recent work has focused on using flexible mechanisms to create climate regulations in the U.S. under the Clean Air Act and how the model of carbon regulation being developed in the U.S. could translate to other countries. 

"The release of the Trump administration’s new climate change rule is the starting gun for a new round of litigation," says Tim Profeta director of Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. "Significantly, the rule does acknowledge the government’s obligation to regulate carbon pollution. But it is a question of how strict those regulations are."

"Today’s rule simply flips last year’s litigation on its head—the EPA has now taken the view of the state litigants from 2016, advocating a narrower, weaker interpretation of the language to set the emissions standard," Profeta says. "In the interest of judicial economy, the court should rule quickly as it has the same arguments in front of it once again."

Kate Konschnik directs the Climate and Energy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Her work focuses on options for public electric utility regulation and electricity market reforms given emerging technologies and de-carbonization goals.

“The rule does virtually nothing to drive carbon reductions in the power sector but it does offer older, inefficient coal plants the opportunity to upgrade and increase output without having to install pollution controls," says Kate Konschnik, who directs the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. "That likely won’t make most of these plants economic in the marketplace but it could extend the life of some coal plants.”

For comments, contact Kate Konschnik at:
(919) 613-8725;

Billy Pizer holds joint appointments as a faculty fellow at Duke's Nicholas Institute of Environmental Policy Solutions and professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy. His work examines how public policies that promote clean energy can effectively leverage private sector investments, how environmental regulation and climate policy can affect production costs and competitiveness and how the design of market-based environmental policies can be improved.

For comments, contact Billy Pizer at:
(919) 613-9286;

Media Contact:
Jeremy Ashton
(919) 613-4361;

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