Encouraging Energy Efficiency through the Clean Air Act
Energy efficiency measures provide tremendous opportunities for achieving effective and cost‐friendly reductions in the emissions of greenhouse
gases. In the absence of more comprehensive legislative efforts, proponents
of energy efficiency projects can look to existing environmental laws for tools to promote and encourage energy efficiency and conservation. One such law is the federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”), which empowers the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to use a variety of mechanisms to address air pollution and protect the public health. Although the statute and its accompanying regulations are complex, the CAA provides a number of important avenues for advocates of energy efficiency programs. This White Paper aims to provide guidance on ways in which the CAA can be used to promote energy efficiency, by describing how advocates can participate in various actions under the CAA, as well as challenge final agency decisions that reflect insufficient consideration of the issue of energy efficiency and conservation. Proponents of energy efficiency projects who wish to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the CAA also must pay close attention to state and federal environmental agency notices to ensure that they are aware of CAA developments that could provide these openings.
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