Reactions this week to the new EPA regulations to cut carbon pollution from power plants ranged from the most dire to the most delighted, depending upon one’s industry, state or inclination for all things environmental.
On one hand, the new regulations will result in lost jobs and higher electricity rates. On the other, they will improve our climate, our health and ultimately lead to greater innovation.
The energy space is a complex one, and the effect of these regulations will not be as cut and dried as some might think. For example, weren’t we headed in this direction already? Industries have been shifting to natural gas because it’s cheaper, and wind and solar are bringing up the rear. In addition, each of the states will be able to select their own method of implementation from a menu of policy options.
This is a long way out and we’re just getting started. There’s a public comment period, and the regulations themselves could be challenged in congress as well as the courts. States have two years to submit their plans to achieve the targets, and it’s always possible they could get extensions to their timetables.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the regulations. Is the sky falling as Chicken Little squawked or is this the best birthday ever?