On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations that target carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. EPA estimates that by 2030, the new rule will help to reduce power-sector CO2 emissions to about 30 percent below 2005 levels.

The 30 percent reduction goal, however, shouldn't be interpreted as a foregone conclusion. The proposal assigns a specific rate-based emission goal for each state in pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, but not an absolute emission reduction goal. In many ways, this is akin to asking your friend to go on a diet without telling him how much weight you think he or shee needs to lose.

Because of the way the rule is designed, the EPA's own analysis suggests some states like California could actually increase their emissions while still meeting the rule's requirements. At the other end of the spectrum is Texas.

#SettleUp the rules on CO2 emissions today on Bloomberg Government.

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