GM 16-057

EPA Extends Comment Period on Clean Energy Incentive Program and Will Engage in Tribal Consultation; More Tribal Comments Needed

On August 31, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER extending the comment period for the Clean Energy Incentive Program to November 1, 2016. The notice states that “The EPA is making this change to allow for requested tribal consultation in response to the proposed rule.” No information on the dates or locations for the tribal consultation sessions was provided in the notice nor has it been posted on the EPA website yet. Given that the final design of the Clean Energy Incentive Program will drive substantial investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout the country, it is important to ensure that tribes will be able to fully benefit from these opportunities. The FEDERAL REGISTER notice may be found here:

Background. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the Obama Administration’s initiative to use EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to address a major cause of climate change by requiring states to create state plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electric generating units that burn fossil fuels. The CPP aims to do this by not only reducing pollution from these regulated sources, but also by driving investments in alternatives to these regulated sources. The CPP is described in our General Memorandum 16-007 of January 14, 2016. The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) is a component of the CPP that states have the option of including in their state plans. The CEIP will provide incentives for investments in renewable energy and demand-side energy efficiency prior to 2022, the year when the regulatory requirements of the CPP are scheduled to take effect. Although the CEIP is a short-term program to support early investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, while it is in effect, it will be a major source of financial assistance. The CEIP is described in our General Memorandum 16-049 of July 22, 2016. In that General Memorandum we also highlight some key issues relating to tribal sovereignty on which tribes and tribal organizations may wish to comment.

Please let us know if you would like further information on the Clean Energy Incentive Program or assistance with preparing comments on this important proposed rule.