Just the Facts about the Clean Power Plan

Many of you have heard recently about the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which is designed to diversify the nation’s energy supply by 2030. But did you know that many utilities, energy businesses, and states-especially those that recognize today’s positive market signals around energy efficiency and renewable energy-are moving forward on plans to capture jobs and economic opportunity for their region?

As business leaders, we all want to base our decisions on facts. Here are 3 facts about the CPP that are important to many member businesses:

1. It provides state flexibility. 

The Clean Power Plan provides states with the flexibility to design their own plans. In fact, nearly all states have recognized the benefits of maintaining their autonomy and designing their own state plans rather than allowing the EPA to implement a federal plan on their behalf.

2. Utilities are moving forward.

Many of the nation’s utilities are continuing to move forward with plans to include more energy efficiency and renewable energy in their energy mix despite the recent “stay” by the U.S. Supreme Court that pauses implementation of the CPP pending judicial review. In fact, many were already planning to close their older coal-fired generating units in the next five to 10 years and move to cleaner sources of electric power.

The Supreme Court action doesn’t really change anything… larger trends—such as coal retirements, cheap natural gas, environmental regulations, cheaper renewables and new business models—aren’t going away, regardless of what happens with the CPP.
— Edison Electric Institute, lobby for investor-owned utilities
The company will continue moving forward with its transition to a cleaner energy portfolio that includes investments in cost-effective, customer-driven renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, and the retirement of seven of our older coal units.
— Consumers Energy (Michigan utility)

3. States are moving ahead.

Many states, including some challenging the rule, are continuing with planning to be prepared to submit state plans based on the expectation that the court will ultimately uphold the CPP.

A growing number of states also recognize that developing renewable energy makes good economic sense, given declining costs and rising corporate demand.

  • AppleAmazon, and Facebook have committed to running on 100 percent renewable energy-and declared they will only operate new data centers in states that provide them access to renewables.
  • Microsoft has been operating on 100% renewables since 2014.
  • Other businesses committed to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy include IKEABMWGoldman SachsGoogleJohnson & JohnsonMarsNestleNikeStarbucks, and Walmart.

In short, nothing will stop the ingenuity of American businesses-and no one knows that better than chamber of commerce leaders. That’s why many local chamber CEOs signed this statement in support of including clean energy in their state plans.

Please contact Diane Doucette if you would like more information about the economic benefits of the Clean Power Plan and the important market signal and market certainty the plan sends to investors and developers in communities across the nation.