EPA’s Gina McCarthy Responds to Regulators’ Clean Power Plan Questions

By Gail Reitenbach, POWER Magazine.

Comments made at the annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) suggest that the regulatory group and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been in regular dialog throughout the process of developing the Clean Power Plan (CPP), arguably the most complex environmental regulation affecting the power generation sector and electric utilities.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke today at the opening general session in Austin. In introducing her, NARUC President and Florida Commissioner Hon. Lisa Edgar said there had been “an unusual amount of outreach” from the EPA to regulators over recent agency regulations and the CPP in particular. The administrator followed up by saying that “NARUC has been a key partner of EPA’s . . . in a constructive way.”

McCarthy didn’t make news today with her comments, which largely noted the obvious—first, that publication of the final CPP in the Federal Register marked the “kickoff to litigation.” However, she said, “We’re really confident as we approach these legal challenges” because the rule, she said, is grounded in science and fact.