E.P.A. proposal to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has released its proposal for cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants in the country.

The Clean Power Plan proposal is an effort, for the first time, to cut carbon pollution from already existing power plants – the single largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S.

Under the Clean Power Plan, E.P.A. is proposing guidelines that build on trends already underway in states and the power sector to carbon pollution from existing power plants, thereby making them more efficient and less polluting.

The proposal is line with President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan (see related story) and the June 2013 Presidential Memorandum.

The Clean Power Plan will be implemented through a state-federal partnership. Using current or new electricity production and pollution control policies under the proposed program, states will identify a path forward. Under the proposal, guidelines for states to develop plans to meet state-specific goals to reduce carbon pollution will be provided.

The proposal was spurred due to the fact that power plants account for around one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the country. The move by the E.P.A. will protect public health, and move U.S. toward a cleaner environment and fight climate change while supplying Americans with reliable and affordable power.

“Climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, supercharges risks to our health, our economy, and our way of life. E.P.A. is delivering on a vital piece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan by proposing a Clean Power Plan that will cut harmful carbon pollution from our largest source – power plants,” said E.P.A. Administrator Gina McCarthy.

“By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids. We don’t have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment – our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation, and create jobs,” Ms. McCarthy explained.

Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council welcomes E.P.A. proposal. “The E.P.A.’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plants for the first time ever is a giant leap forward in protecting the health of all Americans and future generations,” Ms. Beinecke said.

“It sets fair targets for each state and empowers the states with the flexibility to craft the best local solutions, using an array of compliance tools. And if states embrace the huge energy efficiency opportunities, consumers will save on their electric bills and see hundreds of thousands of jobs created across the country,” she noted.

Ms. Beinecke added that stringent carbon pollution standards will be good for health, economy, children and all future generations. – L. Polintan

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