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Pruitt Hedges On Future Utility GHG Rules Even As EPA Readies CPP Repeal

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is continuing to hedge about whether and how precisely the agency plans to address greenhouse gases (GHG) from existing power plants after it rescinds the Clean Power Plan (CPP), even as reports indicate the agency is poised to float a plan for repealing the Obama-era rule.

A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel is developing a research agenda for a suite of strategies to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in a way that it does not cause climate change, efforts that would complement traditional steps to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to global warming impacts.

The latest California-Quebec greenhouse gas allowance auction had much stronger sales for current-year allowances than in previous quarterly auctions, but maintained a trend of relatively weak sales of future-year vintages, reflecting continued uncertainty over the future of the cap-and-trade program.

Ongoing negotiations over California legislation to establish a post-2020 greenhouse gas cap-and-trade or tax program could extend past June 15, the state's deadline to approve its fiscal year 2017-18 budget and the day by which Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has urged lawmakers to pass a bill by a two-thirds margin to extend the current trading program to 2030.