RFF Floats Goldilocks Plan for Power CO2

An issue brief by Research Analyst Maya Domeshek and Senior Fellow Dallas Burtraw is profiled in POLITICO's Morning Energy newsletter.

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May 19, 2021

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RFF FLOATS GOLDILOCKS PLAN FOR POWER CO2: Resources for the Future on Tuesday proposed a potential path forward for EPA to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants via increased co-firing of natural gas. The strategy offers a less expansive, more legally defensible regulation than the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, but greater emissions reductions than the Trump-era Affordable Clean Energy rule, argue authors Maya Domeshek and Dallas Burtraw. The ACE rule rejected co-firing as a compliance option, but it already is used at a significant number of coal plants.

A co-firing regulation would reduce emissions about 10 percent further in 2030 than expected in a no-policy baseline, compared to 2005 numbers, Burtraw told ME. He added that a co-firing regulation is meant to “complement” other climate policies such as expanded wind and solar tax credits or a clean energy standard — either of which would require congressional action. They also argue a co-firing rule would offer a "soft landing" for coal plants and would curb conventional pollutants like sulfur dioxide as well.

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