Today, NCSEA's regulatory counsel sent a letter officially opposing the NC Department of Environmental Quality's ("DEQ") proposed rules to implement the Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") Clean Power Plan in North Carolina. As stated in the letter, NCSEA opposes the state rules currently proposed by DEQ, citing their failure to:
- Comply with the Clean Power Plan;
- Utilize renewable energy or energy efficiency to comply with the Clean Power Plan; and
- Allow North Carolina to utilize and benefit from the Clean Energy Investment Program ("CEIP").
Rather than taking advantage of the many resources already supported by North Carolina's thriving clean energy economy (namely, renewable energy and energy efficiency), DEQ's proposed response to the Clean Power Plan includes only one compliance method: performance improvements at existing fossil fuel plants. As a result, DEQ's proposed rules will not guarantee the most basic requirement of the Clean Power Plan - lowering carbon dioxide emissions - will be fulfilled in North Carolina.
What's more, DEQ's proposed rules would inexplicably bypass an economic opportunity for North Carolina, particularly for those areas that need it most: Participation in the Clean Energy Investment Program, which rewards renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in low-income areas during the early years of the Clean Power Plan at no additional cost to the state.
In response, NCSEA recommends the Environmental Management Commission reject the DEQ's proposed rules and direct them to develop new rules that would enable North Carolina to seize the ripe opportunities the Clean Power Plan offers for our state.
To read NCSEA's full letter to the DEQ's Division of Air Quality, click here.