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Final Version of Obama's Carbon Rules Cut N.H. Some Slack

Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH
PSNH's Merrimack Station

The final version of the Obama administration’s regulations on carbon emissions from power plants, which were released Monday, set a substantially softer goal for New Hampshire. State officials are confident they can achieve the reductions.

  While nation-wide the so-called Clean Power Plan calls for a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, in New Hampshire is slightly less than 15 percent.

That’s quite a reversal from the draft rules released last year. “If you recall, in the original proposal, New Hampshire was the 5th most stringent in the country,” says Mike Fitzgerald from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

But the EPA rejiggered that math, and is now giving states more flexibility in how to achieve their cuts. That said, Fitzgerald says New Hampshire’s easiest path to compliance still likely lies in remaining part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a nine state carbon cap and trade program which began in 2009.