The new regulation aims to cut carbon pollution from around 3,400 methane gas and coal-fired power plants across the country, which are responsible for about 25 percent of all U.S. climate pollution, and effectively eliminate carbon pollution from the power sector by 2040. U.S. power plants have cut their climate emissions by more than a third since 2005, but need to more aggressively move away from fossil fuels to hit President Biden’s goal of cutting U.S. emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. The proposal would allow utilities to switch to renewable energy or use carbon capture and storage (an unproven technology) to continue burning fossil fuels.
At a speech at the University of Maryland, EPA Administrator noted the plan would not only “improve air quality nationwide, but it will bring substantial health benefits to communities all across the country, especially our front-line communities … that have unjustly borne the burden of pollution for decades.” It’s been 14 years since EPA determined that greenhouse gasses pose a threat to public health and welfare, requiring them to be regulated under the Clean Air Act, but power plant emissions have yet to be regulated. (CBS News, ABC News, CNN, AP, Reuters, NPR, TIME, HuffPost, The Verge, Vox, Roll Call, The Hill, Axios, Utility Dive, New York Times $, Washington Post $, E&E $, Politico $ (1), Politico $ (2), Boston Globe $)