FERC Advances Reliability Safety Mechanism In Final Clean Power Plan
On May 15, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a letter signed by all five Commissioners that details its role in implementing a Reliability Safety Valve (RSV) in the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP proposal, issued on June 2, 2014, aims to reduce power sector emissions by 30 percent by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. It provides state-specific, rate- or mass-based targets to reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions and guidelines for state plans to meet the targets.
Concerns have largely been focused on the certainty that coal-fired power plants will be retired prematurely in light of carrying out potentially expensive retrofits to comply with EPA regulations. Coal-fired generation accounted for approximately 39 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in 2014 and is heavily relied upon in many regions of the U.S., especially the Midwest.