Rural engagement will be a critical part of our nation’s transition to limit carbon emissions, as called for by the implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
A new report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), titled “The Clean Power Plan: Opportunities for an Equitable Energy Transition in Rural America,” outlines how the Clean Power Plan can benefit all communities, especially the rural communities that produce most of the nation’s energy.
The IATP report concludes that states should actively integrate rural perspectives into their Clean Power Plan compliance plans. In February, the Supreme Court halted implementation of the Clean Power Plan until a federal appeals court rules on its legality. That ruling is expected sometime in June. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remains confident that they have strong legal footing, and many states are moving forward to develop their compliance plans.
Rural communities produce most of the nation’s energy and will be affected as mines and coal-burning power plants close or reduce capacity. This report finds that states could use the Clean Power Plan to ensure that the transition to clean energy is fair and equitable. The Clean Power Plan can be a path to sustainable, well-paying jobs in rural America as well as an affordable renewable energy supply, but only if states build the proper assistance mechanisms into their Implementation Plans, the report concludes.