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The Oklahoma Corporation Commission denied last week the application of Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) to spend $1.1 billion on new capital projects—primarily coal plant retrofits to comply with federal environmental standards. The Commission’s decision casts the future of the 1,100 megawatt Sooner Generating Station into doubt.

Vulnerable communities such as low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by the health and climate impacts caused by power plant emissions. To comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan, states must engage these communities during plan development and analyze opportunities to counteract these effects.

A handbook released today walks state consumer advocates through EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a complex rulemaking made all the more difficult to unpack due to the degree of flexibility provided to states. Effective participation of consumer advocates in the compliance process is essential to protect the interests of ratepayers.

Yes, it does. Unfortunately, some confusion persists about how energy efficiency measures can be applied to mass-based compliance within the Clean Power Plan. Fortunately, the answer can be summarized in two sentences: (1) In any situation, energy efficiency is a cost-effective way to reduce demand for electricity, both reducing emissions and helping to avoid or defer other mass-based compliance actions. (2) States can take action to develop customized plans to further encourage energy efficiency as a means for meeting mass-based compliance.

At the beginning of this month, the EPA set a new national standard for ozone, nudging the maximum allowable concentration down from 75 to 70 parts per billion (ppb). Industry backlash to the ozone standard continues a long tradition of opposing regulation on the grounds that it is too expensive, despite almost 20 years of rebuttal that shows that estimated costs of federal regulations are overblown.

A strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in addition to reducing the total costs of energy services and stabilizing the climate, according to new analysis released today.

Avi Allison joins Synapse as an associate. He was previously a research assistant at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, where he gathered and analyzed data used to create an international Environmental Performance Index that ranks how well countries perform on high-priority environmental issues. Ariel Horowitz, PhD, joins us as a senior associate after completing her doctoral thesis on the field of energy storage at Tufts University.

Emissions trading programs are a long-established mechanism used by environmental regulators to reduce air pollution from the electric sector. In this series of posts, we explore how EPA has designed the Clean Power Plan to facilitate the buying and selling of credits representing emissions reductions at fossil-fuel fired power plants. Part 1 focused on rate-based trading. Part 2 explores how states can trade allowances representing tons of CO2 emissions.

Under EPA’s final Clean Power Plan, states must submit initial compliance plans or demonstrate progress toward that goal by September 2016. The Synapse Clean Power Plan Toolkit can help state agencies, public interest groups, and others zero in on cost-effective compliance plan options for any state or region affected by the rulemaking.

The proposed merger between Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings Incorporated (PHI) will likely be rejected after the District of Columbia Public Service Commission denied the petition on August 27, ruling that the $6.4 billion transaction is not in the public interest.

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