EPA's Proposed Emissions Rules for New Power Plants Hinge on Use of Carbon Capture and Storage Technology and Invite Legal Challenges

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Law 360 interviewed Stoel Rives attorney Geoff Tichenor about potential legal challenges to new source performance standards that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed in September 2013 to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new power plants. EPA's proposed CO2 limits for new coal-fired power plants are effectively unreachable absent widespread use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Tichenor noted that, in justifying its proposal, EPA will have to explain how the limited, existing applications of CCS technology adequately demonstrate that the technology is the best system of emissions that can be rolled out across the country. "The EPA often gets deference and will be afforded deference on its interpretation of regulations and on the [federal Clean Air Act] as a statutory matter," said Tichenor. "[However] given that commercial CCS has not yet been achieved or demonstrated in practice, I don't think this is a legal challenge that the EPA will be eager to confront."

Read the full article (PDF)

"Emissions Rule Foes Face Long Odds in Scientific Attack" was published by Law360, November 6, 2013. Republished with permission.

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Geoffrey B. Tichenor
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