(Washington, D.C. – June 16, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the details of the Clean Energy Incentive Program today, a voluntary component of EPA’s historic Clean Power Plan. The Program is designed to provide additional incentive for early deployment of clean energy and energy efficiency by providing matching credits for investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in low-income communities. After extensive discussions with states and local governments, tribes, utilities, community groups and others, EPA is releasing additional details of this program for further public comment and input.
“The Clean Energy Incentive Program is a great way to reward early investments designed to catalyze near-term emissions reductions, and most importantly a critical opportunity help direct investment in cost-saving efficiency programs directly targeted to benefit low-income Americans,” said Pam Kiely, Senior Director of Regulatory Strategy, for EDF. “By moving ahead with this proposal, EPA is providing valuable information and guidance for companies and state policymakers that want to harness this voluntary opportunity to reduce pollution and catalyze investment in clean energy solutions.”
The Clean Energy Incentive Program enables states and tribes to reward early investments in wind and solar power projects or demand-side energy efficiency measures that will help reduce the pollution that causes climate change and puts families and communities at risk. The voluntary program will also help create clean energy jobs and will lower energy costs for low-income communities.
The program is one of the provisions of the final Clean Power Plan – the historic plan to put the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from fossil-fuel fired power plants. States that want to take part in the Clean Energy Incentive Program can get matching compliance credits for the Clean Power Plan.
EPA’s proposal today comes in response to requests from more than a dozen states to provide guidance and information about the program. In a letter to EPA’s Janet McCabe earlier this spring, fourteen states highlighted their need for additional information and assistance related to the final Clean Power Plan, and asked that EPA provide this information “in a manner that is respectful of the Supreme Court’s stay of the regulations” because the information “will be important to our state efforts to prudently plan for and implement a variety of state and federal obligations.”
EPA’s provision of this assistance is wholly in line with actions taken by past Administrations of both parties. As discussed in a recent white paper by NYU Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, under the last three presidential administrations, EPA continued to work on facilitating the implementation of Clean Air Act rules that had been stayed by the courts.
The Clean Energy Incentive Program will now go through a 60 day public comment period. EPA will also hold a public hearing in Chicago on August 3rd.
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