The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) on June 2 released the Clean Power Plan proposal, which for the first time cuts carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States.
"The EPA's proposed new rules for existing power plants are a critical step toward addressing climate change," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. "This common-sense approach will reduce carbon emissions while also giving states unprecedented flexibility to meet their obligations within an all-of-the-above set of options, tailored to each state’s needs and opportunities. A flexible approach will keep electricity affordable for American families and businesses, spark homegrown clean energy innovation that creates jobs, and increase energy efficiency to save families money." Moniz also said, "These new rules for existing power plants help lay the groundwork for a clean energy economy that will pay economic, environmental, and security dividends."
The EPA plan calls for the power sector to cut carbon emissions by 30% below 2005 levels nationwide by 2030. The EPA estimates this will shrink electricity bills roughly 8% percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system. Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are limits in place for arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution that power plants emit, there are currently no national limits on carbon dioxide pollution levels. See the Energy Department news release , the EPA news release , and the Clean Power Plan proposal .