W.Va. DEP Offers Carbon Emission Reduction Feasibility Study
West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection has submitted a feasibility study to West Virginia lawmakers. The study focused on the state’s ability to meet proposed federal carbon emission regulations, and it was required by state law.
The DEP study is a comprehensive analysis of the potential effects the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan could have on West Virginians and the state economy. It was mandated by a 2015 law that also says lawmakers must give West Virginia’s plan to meet the emission reductions rules final approval before it’s sent to the EPA.
DEP analysis indicates that ultimately, compliance is feasible from an economic standpoint, and that further analysis is needed to know how to proceed. The report explains that key contributing factors to the plan’s feasibility include natural gas displacing coal in the energy market, and the possibility of regionally trading Emission Rate Credits.
The study also indicates that while West Virginia is not actively engaged in preparing a state plan to comply with the federal rule, officials intend to communicate with other states to come up with a regional approach to reduced emissions. This despite the fact that implementation of the Clean Power Plan is currently held up in litigation.