The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule

Powerful Regulation that Respects the Law

On June 19, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final Affordable Clean Energy rule (ACE) – replacing the prior administration’s overreaching Clean Power Plan (CPP).

The ACE rule establishes emission guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) at their coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs).

The ACE rule offers a legal framework to advance the nation’s environmental protections while preserving the rightful authority of the states to manage their own unique energy infrastructure and electric grids. It shows emissions can continue to be reduced while preserving the affordability and reliability of our grid.

Strengths of the ACE rule over the CPP:

Regulating Individual Sources vs. Remaking the Entire Grid

Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) limits systems of emission reduction to those that can be implemented at the source. Such an approach is consistent with more than 40 years of pre-CPP precedent, which allows EPA to regulate individual sources, not the entire electric grid. The ACE rule identifies heart rate improvements (HRI) as the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for coal-fired power plants because HRI technologies are the only demonstrated means of reducing emissions that can be applied in a cost-effective manner at individual plants.

Balancing State and Federal Authority vs. A One-Size-Fits-All Mandate

The CAA created a system of shared authority by EPA and the states, with states playing a vital role under CAA 111(d). The ACE rule clarifies that EPA’s role is to determine a national applicable BSER while the states determine standard and how to implement them. At its core, the ACE rule respects that each state is different and will require a unique approach to emissions reduction.

Reducing Emissions without Unnecessary Costs vs. Regulating to Target an Entire Industry

The ACE rule is expected to cut emissions by more than a third below 2005 levels by 2030 — nearly as much as CPP — while also reducing the compliance burden by up to $00 million annually when compared to CPP.

EPA Fact Sheets

Overview of the Final ACE Rule

CO2 Emissions Trends

Regulatory Impact Analysis for the final Affordable Clean Energy Rule and Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

Revised CAA Section 111(d) Implementing Regulations