The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required under the Clean Air Act to limit air pollution that endangers public health and welfare, and the Supreme Court held in Massachusetts v. EPA that this includes carbon pollution. On June 2, 2014, EPA issued a proposed rule to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
This Clean Air Act authority requires EPA to establish a process where states submit plans to EPA to meet a minimum emission guideline, similar to the process of developing state implementation plans under National Ambient Air Quality Standards (governed by Clean Air Act Sections 108 and 110).
EPA's proposed rule provides states with flexibility to consider a range of program designs. This flexibility will allow states to develop plans that include a broad range of strategies to reduce carbon pollution, including: achieving reductions from increasing the efficiency of existing power plants; generating more electricity from lower-carbon emitting fossil fuel-fired power plants, such as combined cycle natural gas power plants; relying more on zero-emissions renewable or nuclear resources; or reducing electricity demand through demand-side energy efficiency. Click here for additional resources from the Georgetown Climate Center on EPA’s carbon pollution rule for existing power plants.
This page compiles state-level information from the State Energy Analysis Tool that may be particularly of interest in the context of this proposed rule. Select a state to view information about current state energy and carbon emissions information, opportunities to reduce carbon emissions, and other resources.