The Obama administration on Monday (May, 2) announced new rules regulating carbon pollution from existing US power plants that run on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, a key element of the President’s Climate Action Plan disclosed in June 2013.
The Environmental Protection Agency published the new regulation proposal, named Clean Power Plan, that puts on track to cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, equal to 730 million metric tonnes of carbon pollution. The proposal include a flexible timeline for each US state to submit plans to the federal agency by June 2016.
The Clean Power Plan which is expected to be finalized over the next year. According to details released by EPA, power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, making up roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. The plan covers 1000 fossil fuel fired power plants, with an average age ranging from 42 years for coal units to 14 years for gas-fired combined cycle units.
Besides the GHG emission reduction, the plan is meant to achieve other additional benefits at all worth between $55 and $93 billion per year in 2030, against estimated costs of $7-8 billion. The Environmental Protection Agency said the plan would cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide by more than 25 percent, preventing thousands of premature deaths and lowering asthma rates. It would also reduce electricity bills by 8 percent, EPA said.
The Clean Power Plan is the second of two major rules in Obama’s climate action plan, the first unveiled by EPA in September 2013 regulating the amount of carbon pollution new power plants would be allowed to emit.