In a July 13, 2021,
article, McGuireWoods partner
Aaron Flynn weighed in on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), a recently
updated cap-and-trade emissions control program that applies to power
plants in 12 states.
CSAPR allows power plants to increase emissions when days are hottest to
meet energy demands and reduce the allowed levels on cooler days — a
flexibility that worked pre-climate change, according to the article. Now,
however, emissions, the super-heated atmosphere and weather-related factors
combine to create more ozone. The CSAPR update, although a step forward,
might not be able to keep pace, Bloomberg Law reported.
The flexibility afforded by the cap-and-trade program contributes to the
transport pollution rule’s success, noted Flynn, but hotter summers are
creating a roadblock.
Flynn considered what other kinds of regulation options should be on the
table if go-to pollution controls aren’t enough. “We also get into this
very tricky situation where it becomes increasingly impractical to meet
those standards with simple traditional pollution controls without
requiring facilities to shut down,” he said. “That’s a dangerous and
complicated situation to be in.”