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Energy Study Finds that New EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Guidelines Will Not Threaten Electric System Reliability

May 08, 2014

New requirements soon to be proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants will not give rise to electric system reliability problems, according to research conducted by Senior Advisor Susan Tierney. The report, “Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions From Existing Power Plants: Options to Ensure Electric System Reliability,” finds that although reliability concerns have been raised in relation to the EPA’s upcoming regulations, the new rules will provide states with significantly more opportunities for flexibility, innovation, and creativity in accomplishing the targeted reductions. 

In the report, Dr. Tierney found that concerns that the EPA’s proposed regulations will threaten the reliability of the electric system overlook three key factors: (1) the mission orientation of power companies and grid operators to ensure that the system can meet customer demands; (2) the expected long lead-time offered for implementation in the new guidelines; and (3) the inherent flexibility of the EPA’s “cooperative federalism” model in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

Read the press release
Read the report
Read a Q&A on the report