The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the Clean Power Plan proposal, which is designed to cut carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants. Older power plants are some of the largest single-sources of CO2 emission in the United States.
The goal of the proposal is to, “protect public health, move the United States toward a cleaner environment and fight climate change while supplying Americans with reliable and affordable power,” according to information supplied by the EPA.
The Clean Power Plan will be implemented through a state-federal partnership under which states identify a path forward using either current or new electricity production and pollution control policies to meet the goals of the proposed program. The proposal provides guidelines for states to develop plans to meet state-specific goals to reduce carbon pollution and gives them the flexibility to design a program that makes the most sense for their unique situation.
"States can choose the right mix of generation using diverse fuels, energy efficiency and demand-side management to meet the goals and their own needs. It allows them to work alone to develop individual plans or to work together with other states to develop multi-state plans," said an EPA representative.
Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are limits in place for the level of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution that power plants can emit, there are currently no national limits on carbon pollution levels.