Ack, What’s an ERC? Cliffsnotes on the Clean Power Plan

January 20, 2016

ERCs, allowances, leakage, mass-based, rate-based, set-asides, CEIP, EM&V, trading ready, glide path, RPS, EERS…. Got it?

A lot of acronyms and terms come up in discussions about state compliance with the Clean Power Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency’s new standards for curbing carbon pollution from power plants. If you aren’t very familiar with the jargon, that Clean Power Plan meeting you’re attending can get frustrating fast — especially if nearly everyone else in the room seems to know it all well. (Yes, I’ve recently been among the frustrated.).

So we’ve put together a little piece called Clean Power Plan Terminology: CliffsNotes Edition. In just two pages it explains the key terms and concepts that can be helpful to know when diving into a discussion on the carbon pollution standards for power plants in your state.

States are supposed to be prioritizing input on Clean Power Plan compliance from a very diverse range of communities this year, not just technical or policy experts – and we hope this piece will come in handy for this broader spectrum of groups and individuals. For more thorough explanations, there are excellent resources from NRDC, Synapse, E&E, and EPA, all of which informed our summary.

Happy conversing about the Clean Power Plan. (And with a quick review of the CliffsNotes Edition, you’ll know that any talk of a “glide path” doesn’t mean you’ve wandered into an aviation meeting by mistake!)

Jeff Cappella