Regulation Database – Clean Power Plan

Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units

President Obama and EPA announced the final Clean Power Plan rule on August 3, 2015. The rule aims to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. To accomplish this, the rule establishes CO2 emission performance rates representing the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines within each state. States have the flexibility to reach these targets individually or at the regional scale, and to translate the rate-based targets into mass-based targets for compliance purposes. The rule also establishes guidelines for the development, submittal and implementation of state plans to achieve the CO2 emission performance rates.

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Associated Rule Proposals:

Additional resources below >>

Litigation: Industry groups and states immediately challenged the final rule in West Virginia v. EPA, No.15-1363 (D.C. Cir. 2015).  In February 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan pending review in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In January 2017, State opponents of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan filed a petition for a new lawsuit, asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review EPA’s denial of requests for reconsideration of the rule (which were filed after the rule was finalized but before the Supreme Court stayed its implementation).
Deregulatory Actions: On March 28, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing EPA to review the Clean Power Plan and to rescind or rewrite the rule as needed to promote the President’s goals of energy independence and economic growth. EPA immediately submitted a request to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to hold the case in abeyance pending EPA’s reconsideration of the rule. On April 4, 2017, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it is reviewing and, if appropriate will initiate proceedings to suspend, revise or rescind the rule.

The executive order also directed EPA to review and rescind or re-write the proposed rule establishing federal implementation plans and model trading rules. On April 3, 2017, EPA officially withdrew that rule proposal as well as the rule proposal establishing details for the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP).

Effects of Staying and Possibly Rescinding the Plan: If implemented, the Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 32% in 2030, amounting to 870 million tons less carbon pollution, the equivalent of taking 166 million cars off the road for a year. Climate and public health benefits would reach between $34 and $54 billion annually by 2030 and reduced emissions of toxic air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide would have resulted in the prevention of over 1,500 premature deaths annually. Learn more>>

Additional Clean Power Plan Resources

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