By Jeff McMahon

Facing a sudden shift from coal to natural gas, the Environmental Protection Agency is likely to revise its Clean Power Plan to give states more clean energy options, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signaled in Chicago Friday.

“We may have designed it in a way that would reduce flexibility for states to make choices among the fuels that they may want to use. That’s the issue that I am trying to address,” McCarthy told about 120 people gathered Friday at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and another 200 people watching online.

Some states have warned EPA of an impending “cliff” in 2020. In order to comply with the first carbon-reduction standard that year, state officials may have to scramble to the most readily available fuel—natural gas—which is only 50 percent cleaner than coal. And they worry they may be unable to install pipelines in time.

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Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
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Energy Markets
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
Fossil Fuels
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Fossil Fuels
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Climate Change
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Climate Change
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Climate Law & Policy
As countries around the world implement policies to confront climate change, EPIC research is calculating which policies will have the most impact for the least cost.