Last Friday, I posted about Governor Baker’s Executive Order 562, which requires cost-benefit analysis, cost effectiveness analysis – and more – before state agencies can promulgate regulations. It took less than a week before it became clear that EO 562 has real teeth. Yesterday, MassDEP sent out a one-paragraph notice delaying hearings on its proposed Clean Energy Standard, citing EO 562 as the reason:
MassDEP is postponing the hearings and comment period on the proposed Clean Energy Standard rule until it has completed the reviews required under the recent Executive Order 562.
It will be interesting to see if EO 562 comes back to bite the Baker administration in this instance. I don’t think that there is an environmental economist around who would argue that the Clean Energy Standard is a more efficient way to attain the GHG reduction targets in the Global Warming Solutions Act than a carbon tax would be. On its face, EO 562 does not limit an agency’s consideration of alternatives to those which are within its statutory authority.
What does the Baker administration do if MassDEP finds that some further restrictions on GHG emissions are necessary for the Commonwealth to meet the GWSA targets, but that a carbon tax is a better way to get there than the CES would be?
That would be a nice mess the EO would have gotten them into.