The Legal Landscape for the Clean Power Plan

Presenter: Lara Fowler, Penn State Law, is a chapter author of The Law and Policy of Biofuels

Hosted by: Northeast woody/warm season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio)* and the Clean Power Plan webinar series

This webinar will provide a brief recap of the U.S. Clean Power Plan and what has happened since it was released. The webinar will provide an update on current status and legal challenges, as well as efforts by some states to implement the plan regardless of a stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was announced by President Obama and the EPA in early August of 2015 and provides the first-ever national standards that address carbon pollution from power plants. The final rules allow individual states, tribes, and territories to build their own plans to meet mandated carbon reduction goals specific to each planning entity. Those goals are set for the year 2030, providing 15 years for full implementation of emission reduction measures, whose efficacy will be assessed between 2022 and 2029.

The proposed state plans outlining how this will be achieved must be submitted in September of 2016 and contain specific steps for each tool in a portfolio of methods used to meet state-level goals: emissions trading, increasing energy efficiency on both supply and demand sides, shifting coal generation to natural gas generation, and/or increasing renewable power generation. That last category leaves room for biomass energy, but stakeholders in the bioeconomy still seek clarification on exactly how biomass could or should fit in to a state plan.

This webinar series
begins to tackle that question, providing guidance, information from cutting-edge research, and expert perspectives on the role sustainable bioenergy can play in state plans designed to meet CPP requirements. Though the US Supreme Court recently granted a stay on the CPP, many states continue developing their individual plans, and the need for information and clarity regarding this policy remains.

This webinar is hosted by Sarah Wurzbacher, NEWBio, Penn State University and eXtension Farm Energy community ; held (usually) on the second Tuesday of each month at 1PM ET, featuring important topics related to bioenergy in the northeast. NEWBio is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2012-68005-19703 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

This CPP webinar series is a co-sponsored effort by the USDA NIFA AFRI Regional Bioenergy System Coordinated Agricultural Projects, which focus on sustainable production of advanced biofuels, industrial chemicals, and biobased products to enhance existing agricultural systems, create rural jobs, and achieve other goals related to energy security and sustainability. More:


Sarah Wurzbacher

Created by Susan Hawkins