Publications
June 2, 2014

Environmental Alert: EPA Announces Proposed Rule Aimed at Significantly Reducing Carbon Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today its Clean Power Plan proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions from the nation's power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Acting under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, EPA's proposal would impose a federal carbon emissions rate (stated in pounds of carbon emitted per megawatt-hour of electric energy generated) for each state. EPA would set each state's limit based on a case-by-case evaluation of each state's portfolio of generation resources and EPA's evaluation of its opportunities to reduce carbon emissions. However, states will have the flexibility to determine how to meet the set limits. States will be free, on their own or in collaboration with other states, to design a program to achieve those rates in a way that makes the most sense for their unique situation. Each state's solution could combine diverse fuels, energy efficiency, and demand-side management.

This proposal is a key element of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, aimed at curbing emissions from the power sector which, according to the EPA, is responsible for 40 percent of the United States' carbon dioxide emissions. Further, it will reduce pollutants such as soot and lead by approximately 25 percent. In announcing the Climate Action Plan, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy discussed how emissions limits are critical for improving human health (1 in 10 children in the United States currently suffer from asthma) and to address risks posed by global climate change. McCarthy outlined that not only will rising temperatures cause more smog, asthma, and longer allergy seasons, but extreme weather events will impact economic productivity, raise insurance premiums, and threaten jobs.

The rule is now out for public comment through the summer, with EPA projecting a final rule by June 2015. However, given that this proposed rule directly impacts the nation's coal industry, legal challenges will likely be quickly mounted by coal companies and other power generators opposed to this climate-oriented regulation.

For more information regarding how EPA's Clean Power Plan may impact your industry, please contact Anthony Buxton, David Van Slyke, or Todd Griset in Preti Flaherty's Climate Strategy, Energy, and Environmental groups, at 791-3000.

Firm Highlights

Publication

Litigation and Arbitration Venue Provisions in Construction Contracts: When and How They Work

Venue and choice-of-law provisions are fairly standard in construction contacts, but can be overlooked due to their location within a contract. When drafted effectively, these provisions can help limit uncertainty about where and how...

News

Preti Flaherty Attorney Benjamin S. Piper Promoted to Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that the firm’s partnership has named attorney Benjamin S. Piper as a partner. Ben is a member of the firm's Environmental, Litigation, and Media Law Practice Groups and works...

Press Coverage

Bangor superintendent blocked BDN reporter on Twitter after critical news coverage

In an apparent violation of the First Amendment, Bangor schools superintendent Betsy Webb temporarily blocked a journalist on Twitter following a report that news of a student suicide was announced over the loudspeaker at...

Publication

WC Alert: Recent Developments from Maine's Workers' Compensation Board

Frank A. Graf, MD, Reappointed to Approved List of § 312 Examiners At the February 11 meeting of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board, Frank Graf, MD, was reappointed to the list of approved § 312...

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Government Relations Liaison Andrew I. Roth-Wells to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that Andrew I. Roth-Wells has joined the firm as a Government Relations Liaison. Andrew will help manage legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts for the firm’s Government Affairs Team...

Press Coverage

Maine State Police May Be Spying on You

Police and governments are increasingly turning to new tracking and monitoring methods in their efforts to prevent and record evidence of crimes. A Portland Press Herald investigation examines these expanding law enforcement abilities and the...

Event

2020 Employment Breakfast Series: Strengthening Your Company's Management of Accommodation Requests

For more than 25 years, Preti Flaherty's Employment Law Group has been keeping clients, business partners, and friends up to date on recent developments in employment law. Join us as we continue that tradition...

Event

2020 Cannabis Law Breakfast - Winter Update

Event

2020 Employment Law Series: A Legislative Update for HR Professionals

For more than 25 years, Preti Flaherty's Employment Law Group has been keeping clients, business partners, and friends up to date on recent developments in employment law. Join us as we continue that tradition...

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The Potential of the Blockchain for Asset Protection Planning

While many legal scholars focus on the challenges and complications seemingly inherent to blockchain and cryptocurrency, others look past the fear and see potential. In this article for Cumberland Law Review , Ian Huyett and Brian Quirk...