EPA defends scope of CO2 standards

By Argus Media.

Congress gave the US Environmental Protection Agency significant flexibility in determining how best to reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector, government lawyers said.

The section of the Clean Air Act used to issue the Clean Power Plan for existing power plants grants the agency the ability to look beyond what can be done at individual facilities in determining the "best system of emission reduction," EPA lawyers said in a 22 April court filling. The word system in particular means the agency can look at a "broad scope" of potential measures, such as "generation shifting," or moving to less carbon-intensive electricity sources, EPA said.

"This broad statutory language shows that Congress was directing EPA to consider a wide range of measures to reduce emissions from sources," the agency said.