The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to propose a rule for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants by the year 2030. The draft regulations would provide states and utilities with options on how best to comply. For example, states could require retrofits at coal plants and incentivize the use of renewables and natural gas.

Environmental groups and public-health officials are praising this latest development, while those in industry generally oppose the action.

Either way, "the rule is going to be challenged in court, regardless," predicted Ballard Spahr Environment and Natural Resources partner Brendan K. Collins. He expects that environmentalists will sue if the rule lacks teeth, and industry will if it overreaches. "There's no Goldilocks solution," Mr. Collins added.

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Climate Change and Sustainability
Environment and Natural Resources