Power Distributor: Obama's Clean Energy Plan Could Work

The nation's largest power wholesaler says it can meet the goals of President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan without impacting the reliability of power grids.

PJM Interconnection LLC, which transmits power to 61 million people in 13 states, announced its findings after completing a report on the feasibility of adapting to the Clean Power Plan, reports Bloomberg. The report analyzed the impact of the plan over five- and 20-year timetables, including seven separate "pathways" to compliance that offer different pros and cons.

Meeting the Clean Power Plan's requirements won't be without cost to consumers, but PJM said it's possible to limit the cost increase to 3.3 percent or less.

The Clean Power Plan is Obama's final attempt at a major energy overhaul in the U.S. after previous efforts failed. This time around, the president sought to bypass congressional lawmakers by issuing the plan as an executive order. Supporters claim the law allows the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions, while critics say the order is unconstitutional.

The plan's goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent within 25 years, according to the White House. The goal could be achieved through a combination of conservation, relying more heavily on clean power alternatives and eventually phasing out coal-burning power plants.

In February, the Supreme Court put a temporary stop to the plan, staying the regulation pending the outcome of legal challenges to the Clean Power Act. Despite that, as of late 2016 several states were preparing to meet the plan's emissions goals.

Sources: Bloomberg, PJM, EPA / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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