The Clean Power Plan and Statutory Interpretation: Is the 'Building Block' Approach Permissible Under §111(d)?
6 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2015
This Comment considers a key question of statutory interpretation concerning EPA's Clean Power Plan: whether section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act authorizes EPA to establish emission goals based on measures that are implemented “beyond the fenceline” of regulated power plants. The Comment demonstrates that this question is reasonably answered in the affirmative. Of particular relevance, Congress' 1977 endorsement of §111 standards based on fuel pretreatment processes -- "whether they occur at, or are achieved by, the source or by another party" -- indicates that emission goals under this section may reflect the ability of regulated sources to obtain credits for off-site activities that prevent emissions. Further, recent practice in the mobile source context illustrates the reasonableness of crediting low- or zero-emission output that is expected to substitute for high-emission output. The Comment concludes that EPA's 'building block" approach is permissible under section 111(d).
Keywords: clean power plan, 111(d), building block, renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon pollution
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation