Inside EPA’s Dawn Reeves reports this afternoon that EPA tomorrow will publish in the Federal Register a proposal of the agency’s signature climate policy, the Carbon Pollution Standard. To much fanfare, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy last September 20 unveiled a pre-publication version of the proposal, but the measure takes affect only after it’s been published in the Federal Register. It remains unknown why the rule was held up for an unusually long three and a half month delay, but last week I speculated that the agency was having difficulty adopting a legal justification for its proposed determination that all new coal-fired power plants must install carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). In order for the Carbon Pollution Standard to pass judicial review, CCS technology must be “commercially viable.” As I’ve written repeatedly, legal precedent together with market realities strongly indicate that CCS has not been adequately demonstrated, and is, therefore, an impermissible basis for the proposed regulation.
I’ve not yet had the time to read the final proposal, a copy of which is available here, but InsideEPA’s Reeves reports that it has not changed significantly from the pre-publication version. Instead, sources tell Reeves that the agency has bolstered its explanation that CCS is (supposedly) commercially viable in supporting documentation, which isn’t yet publicly available. That material should be posted online tomorrow, at which time I’ll pour over it and report back to you. Stay tuned!