The EPA has proposed a rule to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030 below 2005 levels.
Today’s proposal, which is the centerpiece of President Obama’s climate plan, would also cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent by 2030.
Coal fired power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the US, accounting for about a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the nation.
According to the EPA, the Clean Power Plan will be implemented through a state-federal partnership under which states develop plans using either current or new electricity production and pollution control policies to meet the pollution caps. States can work alone to develop individual plans or work together with other states to develop multi-state plans. The plans are due to the EPA in June 2016, but the proposal gives states an option to use a two-step process for submitting final plans if they need more time.
While environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council heralded the proposal as a “historic step to combat climate change,” business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) blasted the carbon rules.
“As users of one-third of the energy produced in the United States, manufacturers rely on secure and affordable energy to compete in a tough global economy, and recent gains are largely due to the abundance of energy we now enjoy,” says NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons. “Today’s proposal from the EPA could singlehandedly eliminate this competitive advantage.”
The EPA will finalize the carbon pollution rules next June.
Photo Credit: coal power plant via Shutterstock