Mass Court Says State Can Order Electricity Plants to Reduce Carbon Emissions

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Editor’s Take: In Massachusetts, the state Supreme Court ruled this week that utiliites must comply with the state’s carbon emission rules, which were passed in 2008 as part of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). As written, the GWSA sets all economy-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals for Massachusetts that will achieve reductions of 10-25 percent below statewide 1990 GHG emission levels by 2020 and 80 percent below statewide 1990 GHG emission levels by 2050.

Plaintiffs, New England Power Generators Association and GenOn Energy, had argued that the electric sector shouldn’t have to adhere to the law because that sector is specifically regulated by a separate provision, namely. the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  In the ruling, which you can read here, the judges said that the regulations are complimentary and that the sector does indeed have to reduce its emissions per Massachusetts guidelines set forth in GWSA. 

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