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May 29, 2014
Judy Chang Quoted in Bloomberg Article Discussing State and Utility Plans to Adapt to Climate Change Rules

Brattle Principal Judy Chang was quoted in a May 29, 2014 Bloomberg article that examines various plans proposed by states and electric cooperatives to adapt to new climate rules to curb carbon emissions proposed by President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA guidelines (under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act), scheduled to be released on June 2, 2014, will include a plan that would cut power plant emissions while allowing states to implement their own systems to achieve mandated emissions reductions. This would include setting some kind of an emissions target and leaving it up to the individual states to meet the target.

The article discusses a plan set forth by Minnesota-based electricity cooperative Great River Energy proposing that a region could set a price for carbon emissions that would be added to the cost of some power plants that offer to produce power in the wholesale market. By adding a cost per ton of carbon emissions, the price of power produced from coal-fired generation would increase and thereby prompt the use of other sources of less-emitting energy.

Ms. Chang, who assisted in drafting the plan for Great River Energy, notes in the article that this plan still comes with its own set of challenges. “The biggest challenge for something like this is that the states have to agree,” Ms. Chang says. “If they all agree on a price, then we are home free.”

The Brattle discussion paper that presents Great River Energy's proposed regional approach to comply to EPA’s 111(d) regulation is available for download below.

The article, “Wonks Collide as Obama Climate Plan Prompts New Ideas,” is available on Bloomberg’s website.