In a July 13, 2021, Bloomberg Law 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.”