So, now that the Clean Power Plan of 2015 (an effort by the previous EPA to federalize environment and energy regulation) is probably in the rear-view mirror, this piece provides some perspective on “cooperative federalism,” which is an idea begun with the New Deal in the 1930’s, when it came to include a division of responsibilities among,the states and the federal government agencies of electric power and distribution.
Historically, with the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970, the EPA set the minimum standards for the states to best implement their individual utility plans to meet air pollution goals with approval of the EPA. This dynamic partnership, with the State Utility Commissioners, state utilities, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy, state and
regional transmission lines has lasted for almost 80 years, with very positive impacts.
Like in “The Many Flaws of the Clean Power Plan,” you will not be surprised by the fact that I have supported the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commission (NARUC) and its state members for years. After attending the NARUC conferences for the last 16 years, I can attest to the state utility commissions and their national leadership’s competence.