EDF Welcomes Publication of First National Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants

January 8, 2014
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, DC – January 8, 2013) A proposal for America’s first-ever national standards for carbon pollution from new fossil fuel fired power plants was published in the Federal Register today.

EDF celebrated the announcement as a vital step forward toward finalizing the rules that will protect public health and strengthen the U.S. economy. In 2012, coal fired power plants alone caused 74 percent of carbon pollution from the power sector, but only produced 37 percent of U.S. electricity.

“Fossil fuel burning power plants are the single largest source of dangerous carbon pollution, and right now there are no national limits to the amount of that pollution that power plants can spew into our air,” said EDF Attorney Megan Ceronsky. “This is a big step forward toward getting some common-sense limits on the carbon pollution that causes climate change. These standards will move us toward cleaner power generation, which will protect public health and encourage the development of new technologies that will boost the U.S. economy. Opponents of this rule need to explain why they think it’s okay to have unlimited carbon pollution.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed standards would establish the first nationwide limits on climate-destabilizing pollution from new fossil fuel fired power plants. EPA’s new emissions performance standards are similar to clean air standards adopted by states across the country. 

A wide variety of solutions are available today to meet our nation’s energy needs under the proposed standards, including more efficient use of energy and use of clean renewable energy. In 2012, wind energy topped all other resources in new capacity additions deployed in the U.S. The 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report estimates that 72 percent of the wind turbine equipment – including towers, blades and gears – installed in the U.S. in 2012 was made in America.

EPA’s proposed standards will provide power companies with the certainty they need to invest now-sidelined resources in cleaner, safer and more efficient solutions to meet U.S. electricity needs – creating jobs in the process.

EPA proposed similar standards in March of 2012 and then revised them in response to public comment. About four million Americans wrote to EPA in support of federal limits on carbon pollution. You can read more about the proposed standards, and send a comment to EPA , on EDF’s website.

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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook.