There has been a lot of buzz lately about the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and efforts by the Trump administration to replace it with the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. See 82 Fed. Reg. 48,035 (Oct. 16, 2018.) But regardless of your perspective on that rule, it’s clear that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the power sector are declining even absent any federal regulation. That drop is driven largely by economic pressures: cheap natural gas and ever-lower prices for wind and solar power create competition for coal plants, while rules like the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) mercury and air toxics standards make coal plants more expensive to operate.
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