Western states like Colorado have unique challenges when it comes to meeting new federal air quality regulations targeting coal fired power plants, according to former Gov. Bill Ritter. He now heads up the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.
Ritter says his center has been guiding 13 western states on how to comply with the Obama Administration's plan, which was finalized in August.
“We have since then been working with states, with utilities and the utility commissioners to really ask questions about how this rule can get implemented in a regional fashion," he said.
That approach matters because it is possible for western states to band together to form a regional system of buying and selling carbon credits.
Nationwide, the Clean Power Plan requires a 32 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions nationwide by the year 2030. States like Colorado have until next fall to deliver preliminary plans.