Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990: Opportunities for Promoting Renewable Energy: Final Report, 11 December 2000

    Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


    This report explores key aspects of the intersection between the nation's clean air and energy goals and proposes alternatives for encouraging renewable energy in the context of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). As with most environmental statutes enacted in the early 1970s, the 1970 CAA embraced a somewhat rigid 'command-and-control' approach to achieving its clean air goals. Although effective,this approach has been criticized for discouraging creative and cost-effective solutions to reducing air emissions. In response to this concern, Congress included the first significant market-based program to address an environmental problem-in this case, acid rain caused by sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from power plants-in the 1990 CAA Amendments. This program prompted the federal governmentand various state governments to pursue other market-based programs to address air pollution problems. Ten years have elapsed since the passage of the 1990 CAA Amendments, so the time is ripe to consider expanding opportunities for renewable energy development in the reform of clean air policies. A significant potential for renewables exists in conjunction with international efforts to reduceemissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), including CO2. Unfortunately, Congressional opposition to international GHG reduction agreements makes it difficult to develop GHG emission-reduction programs, including a cap-and-trade alternative, that would enable the renewables industry to harness this potential. The renewable industry can, however, track developments both nationally and internationallyto ensure that the programs developed adequately address renewables.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages95
    StatePublished - 2001

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by Young, Sommer, Ward, Ritzenberg, Wooley, Baker & Moore, L.L.C., Albany, New York

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/SR-620-29448


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