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Clean Power Plan: Gauging state-level opposition

Wietelman, Derek Christian
The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan has generated a large amount of controversy over its mandatory carbon dioxide emissions cuts at the state level. 27 states have currently signed on to the federal lawsuit over the Clean Power Plan that is currently pending, while only 18 have signed to support the EPA's position. In this paper, reasons why carbon agreements at the federal and international levels often fail are outlined. Attempted solutions by state and local governments are also discussed. Program operations and specific details of the plan are then outlined. This paper also seeks to identify reasons why states oppose the Clean Power Plan. A logistic regression with state opposition to the Clean Power Plan as the categorical respondent variable will be run. Variables that are hypothesized to be significant for the relationship include whether or not the state has a Republican Governor, the amount of coal produced in each state measured in short tons, and the percentage of each state's energy production that comes from renewable energy. After the regression was run, Republican Governor and renewable percentage production were confirmed to be extremely significant variables in explaining opposition to the Clean Power Plan. Renewable percentage made it less likely for a state to oppose the Clean Power Plan, while having a Republican Governor greatly increased the odds of a state opposing the Clean Power Plan. Coal production was not found to be statistically significant. This research leaves other questions for future research, such as examining the interactions between these variables and how that can affect opposition to the plan.