Clean Power Plan Policy Workshop


Nov. 10-11, 2015 | Washington, D.C.

attendees of Clean Power Plan Policy WorkshopNCSL’s Clean Power Plan Policy Workshop was designed to help state legislative leaders in energy policy understand this major revision to the nation’s air regulations and what states need to know as they weigh the costs, risks and benefits of the many available approaches to meeting the new regulations. The meeting explored a number of important topics, including: requirements of the final regulations; legal challenges; state legislative role and authority; planning and creating enforceable goals; policies and technologies that can achieve least cost solutions; and regional policy approaches for multi-state collaboration. This one-and-a-half day meeting occurred Nov. 10-11, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

 Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015

 Overview of the Clean Power Plan

 States are in the process of assessing their reduction requirements and determining the energy portfolio and policy implications of the plan. Many questions remain about changes from the proposed rule and what will be allowable in state plans. This overview session will review the final rule’s requirements, timelines and the role of state legislatures in designing a plan.


  • Sarah Dunham, director, Office of Atmospheric Programs, USEPA | Presentation
  • Jennifer Macedonia, senior adviser, Bipartisan Policy Center | Presentation

Legal Outlook

There are questions as to whether EPA has overstepped its legal authority in its approach to the rule, and 26 states are challenging the rule in court. Why are some states challenging EPA and what is the likely outcome of the lawsuit? What might happen if the rule is overturned? This session will explore the legal issues and potential outcomes of the challenge


The Changing Mix: Reliability and Infrastructure Needs

While the energy mix is changing rapidly because of cost, technology and policy drivers, many states will have to accelerate the rate of change to meet the new rule’s requirements. Can new infrastructure be built quickly enough meet the needs of a rapidly changing energy portfolio? How will these changes affect affordability and reliability? These and other questions will be answered during this session.


  • Kurt Bilas, executive director, Government Relations, Midcontinent Independent Service Operator | Presentation
  • Jurgen Weiss, principal, The Brattle Group | Presentation

The Role of Energy Efficiency 

Energy efficiency is often considered the least expensive way to reduce emissions in the energy sector. Compliance plans that do not have a major role for efficiency are unlikely to be the least cost approach to meeting Clean Power Plan requirements. Efficiency’s contributions can be more difficult to evaluate and measure than other approaches, however. How can states include cost-effective energy efficiency programs in their compliance plans and what policies have proven most successful? How does EPA’s new Clean Energy Incentive Program affect early energy efficiency action? This session’s expert panel will discuss and answer these and other related questions.


  • Steve Schiller, visiting scientist and senior adviser, Electricity Markets and Policy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Presentation
  • Danielle Sass Byrnett, senior policy adviser, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, USDOE | Presentation
  • Bruce Hedman, technical director, Institute for Industrial Productivity | Presentation

Options for Coal

Coal is still the largest portion of the energy portfolio in many states, although its role is shrinking. EPA rules are likely to further constrict the use of coal as planners look to meet EPA CO2 emissions requirements. This has created concern in many states about losing the use of a local, abundant and affordable resource. This session will explore technologies and approaches that can help states continue to use coal while still meeting EPA’s emissions requirements. 


  • David Mohler, deputy assistant secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management, Office of Fossil Energy, USDOE | Presentation
  • Karen Obenshain, senior director of Fuels, Technology and Commercial Policy, Edison Electric Institute | Presentation

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

The Role of the Private Sector

Large private sector energy users are making efforts to reduce emissions, which may make it easier for states that are working to meet EPA’s regulations. This session will explore private sector activities and how policymakers may be able to leverage their efforts to complement state plans.


  • Mary Sotos, associate, World Resources Institute | Presentation
  • Ramé Hemstreet, vice president of operations and chief sustainable resource officer, Kaiser Permanente | No Presentation Available
  • Kenric Scheevel, senior government relations representative, Dairyland Power Cooperative | Presentation

The Economies of Zero Emissions Resources

This session will explore zero emissions energy generation options, renewable and nuclear energy, and the associated costs, benefits, and challenges associated with them.


  • Susan Mathiascheck, senior director, Environmental Policy, Nuclear Energy Institute | Presentation
  • Tom Peterson, founder, president and CEO, The Center for Climate Strategies | Presentation

Putting the Pieces Together: Policy Pathways

States have multiple policy options for reducing emissions and legislators are likely to play a major role in implementing these options. Policy choices can have a large impact on the cost of meeting the new regulations, however. Should a state go it alone or look at market-based mechanisms for interstate collaboration? What mix will meet requirements in the most cost-effective and reliable manner? This session will tap technology and policy experts to synthesize concepts explored earlier in the meeting and discuss options, scenarios, reliability and cost.


  • David Hoppock, senior policy associate, Climate and Energy Program, Duke Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions | Presentation
  • Gabriel Pacyniak, climate change mitigation program manager, Georgetown Climate Center | Presentation