In August the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released final carbon rules as part of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. It’s all in an effort to reduce carbon emissions by up to 28 percent. Most of the reductions will result from cutting emissions at coal-powered plants.
Here are 5 quick things to know:
- Essentially, the action is establishing final carbon emission guidelines by creating CO2 emission performance rates for fossil fuel generating units, state-specific CO2 goals, and guidelines for the development and implementation of state plans.
- The Clean Power Plan allows for states to choose their own path to reducing carbon pollution. They can develop tailored plans to make sure power plants meet the new standards, opt in to an emission credit trading market with other states, and more. Renewables, natural gas, and carbon capture and storage can play a role, too, and are highly encouraged.
- Overall, the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions up to 28 percent countrywide by 2025.
- The White House and the USEPA are expecting the Clean Power Plan to drive investment in clean energy and create tens of thousands of new jobs. It’s estimated that the action will save consumers a total of $155 billion through 2020-2030.
- The Clean Power Plan is the latest in a series of moves aimed at reducing levels of carbon pollution. Other actions include fuel efficiency standards for light and heavy-duty vehicles, an initiative to increase access to solar energy for low-income Americans, plans to reduce methane emissions from gas systems and landfills, and a $4 billion investment in private sector innovation.
Read the White House’s full Clean Power Plan fact sheet here.