"The good news is that meeting this new rule is very doable," says AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan, noting wind is already reducing power sector emissions by more than 5% nationally and by more than 10% in 11 states.
The proposed rule, issued this morning by the Environmental Protection Agency, gives the states flexibility in determining how to meet the reduction target, including boosting their use of renewable energy. That has led many in the sector to see the plan as a potential source of significant new demand for wind.
The EPA will now consult on the proposal with a goal of finalising the rule by June 2015 and having state implementation plans in place by June 2016. This will be the first US carbon reduction regulation for existing power plants.
The draft rule, however, is already under fire from Republicans who see it as the next step in an Obama-led, job-destroying "war on coal." It is also expected to face legal challenges from some states and industry groups.