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The EPA Goes 'Bottom Up' with New Carbon Regulations

A demonstrator holds up a sign during a march past the White House to protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, February 17, 2013.

The coming news cycles are rapidly sorting through the details of the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by as much as 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. 

But it's worth noting right off that this is a very different proposal than the Washington-centric "Waxman-Markey" scheme that crashed and burned five years ago.

Most notably, the proposed rulemaking reflects the substantial decentralization of U.S. climate and energy policy discussions since the earlier debacle. With Washington gridlocked on the topic, the EPA has done the logical thing and embraced the clear trend toward “bottom up” problem-solving on energy policy. Unlike Waxman-Markey, the new rules defer to states’ varied starting points and embrace their creativity in implementation.  

For more, here’s my post from yesterday over at The Avenue.

My bottom line: The EPA has rightly thrown its lot in with “bottom up” carbon strategies.
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