On Monday, the Obama administration announced the final Clean Power Plan, a historic action on climate change. The plan is estimated to reduce carbon pollution from the U.S. by 870 million tons by 2030, a 32% decrease from 2005 levels. The plan targets power plants, the country’s largest emitter of carbon pollution.
The plan works by creating partnerships with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, tribes, and U.S. territories. The EPA will set the goals and the states and tribes will choose how they want to meet these goals. The EPA has established interim and final carbon dioxide emission performance rates for fossil fuel-fired electric steam generating units (coal and oil-fired power plants) and for natural gas-fired combined cycle generating units. The interim and final goals are established in three forms:
- A rate-based state goal measured in pounds per megawatt hour (lb/MWh);
- A mass-based state goal measured in total short tons of CO2;
- A mass-based state goal with a new source complement measured in total short tons of CO2.
In addition to reducing carbon pollution, by 2030, the plan is expected to produce a 90% decrease in sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants and a 72% decrease in nitrogen oxide emissions.
“We’re proud to finalize our historic Clean Power Plan. It will give our kids and grandkids the cleaner, safer future they deserve. The United States is leading by example today, showing the world that climate action is an incredible economic opportunity to build a stronger foundation for growth,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The valuable feedback we received means the final Clean Power Plan is more ambitious yet more achievable, so states can customize plans to achieve their goals in ways that make sense for their communities, businesses and utilities.”
To view the final rule, fact sheets, and other details on the plan, click here.