2016 and 2015 Resources
2014 State Legislation
In 2014, states took varied approaches to EPA’s proposed and pending regulations for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Twenty-three states introduced 53 bills and resolutions concerning these regulations.
While state legislative activity varied from support to opposition, the common thread was an emphasis on the state’s authority to develop and implement regulations that meet their energy needs, resource mix and policies. Thirty bills and resolutions explicitly mentioned the primacy of states to develop performance standards and of those, 22 cited the primacy of states to implement the Clean Air Act. Twenty-seven resolutions and three bills expressed support for coal as an energy resource, while 28 resolutions and two bills emphasized the benefits to energy security and reliability that result from a diverse energy portfolio. Five resolutions called for Congressional oversight of EPA with regard to the agency’s regulatory authority of power plant carbon dioxide emissions.
There were also U.S. congressional responses to EPA’s proposed regulations: U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) submitted an amendment to a House Bill giving Congress the ability to halt EPA’s proposed regulations and submitted a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to stop EPA from issuing its rule.
Note: All legislation discussed below specifically mentions the Clean Power Plan. Multiple states have debated legislation concerning the adoption of new administrative regulations, departmental appropriations or emissions reduction requirements, however only legislation that specifically names the Clean Power Plan is reviewed in this document.
In 2014, 12 states—Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming—introduced legislation that would have authorized a state agency to develop regulations for carbon dioxide emissions from coal- and natural-gas fired electric generating units or explore the impact of such proposed regulations. Legislation was enacted in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Much of the legislation directed the administrative entity to consider factors such as cost, adequately demonstrated technology, achievability and efficiency when developing regulations. Additionally, legislation may have granted the administrative entity flexibility in implementing state-developed regulations and compliance deadlines. Several states included provisions adopting flexible regulatory mechanisms, including averaging emissions, emissions trading or alternative measures. Legislation in Pennsylvania required state plans to be approved by the General Assembly before plans can be submitted to EPA. Legislation in Virginia required a cost-benefit analysis of EPA’s regulations on energy producers and electric utility producers, as well as policy options for meeting the standard, to be included in an update to the state energy plan. Wyoming legislation related to EPA's regulatory authority as directed by the Constitution.
Legislative summaries of enacted bills are included below in Table 1. Legislative summaries of pending or failed bills are included in Table 2.
In 2014, 20 states introduced 34 resolutions concerning EPA’s regulations on carbon dioxide emissions; 20 resolutions were adopted in 16 states. The majority of these resolutions emphasized state authority to develop and implement regulations, as directed by the Clean Air Act. Resolutions also urged EPA to honor flexibility in state plans, with a focus on regional or state variations and compliance deadlines. Several resolutions urged EPA to develop separate regulations for highly efficient coal-fired generation units based on ultra supercritical and supercritical technologies. Resolutions also urged the administration or Congress to develop a national energy strategy or to fund further research in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. Additionally, numerous resolutions urged EPA to base regulations on adequately demonstrated emission-reduction technology or on achievable measures to reduce emissions.
Legislative summaries of enacted resolutions are included below in Table 3. Legislative summaries of pending resolutions are included in Table 4.
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*Note: Proposed legislation is not an indicator of the likelihood of consideration, passage or failure.
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