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Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants


On June 25, 2013, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan, a national plan for tackling climate change that includes limiting carbon pollution from power plants. In a follow-up Presidential memorandum, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop standards that would reduce carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants. Pollution from fossil fuel power plants, along with oil refineries, accounts for nearly 40 percent of the greenhouse gas pollution in the United States. This directive would protect public health and spark innovation in clean technologies, spurring green jobs.

The President also directed the EPA to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon pollution from existing power plants. In response, the EPA unveiled its new Clean Power Plan on June 2, 2014. The proposed rule, as described on the EPA website here, will cut carbon pollution nationwide from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels. At the same time, limits on carbon pollution will have the added benefit of reducing particulate matter pollution by over 25 percent by 2030. This will help avoid between as many as 6,600 premature deaths and up to 150,000 asthma attacks over that time. Together, the combined climate and health benefits of the rule are projected to be between $55 and $93 billion by 2030. A key element of the Clean Power Plan is flexibility: states can decide how to best meet their goals through individual State Implementation Plans (SIPS). This feature of the plan comes in response to numerous comments received by the EPA asking them to avoid creating a one-size-fits-all solution.

The EPA is currently in the  process of collecting public comments on the proposed Clean Power Plan. The public comment period will last until December 1, 2014. If you would like to submit a comment, you may do so by visiting this EPA page.

Previously, EPA proposed draft standards to reduce carbon pollution from new power plants in March 2012, and supporters of climate action submitted a record-breaking number of comments—more than 3.2 million—in support of limiting carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. On September 20, 2013, in response to some critiques of the proposed new standard for power plants, EPA released a revised draft that would require about the same level of carbon pollution reductions.


Click on the tabs below to find a compilation of resources related to the carbon pollution standards:

Fact Sheets




Below is a compilation of statements from USCAN members and allies on the recent release of the EPA's Clean Power Plan. For Statements from elected officials on the proposed rule, Click Here. Scroll down for statements prior to the release of the Clean Power Plan.

Statements by Elected Officials (in alphabetical order by last name)


2013 and January-May 2014

For a compilation of USCAN members’ and allies’ reactions, analyses, and other selected responses to the President’s Climate Action Plan, please click here. Last Updated: 11.2013











Press & Articles

Reports & Other Resources


Reports & Polls:

Environmental Protection Agency Documents:

Web Pages:

Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants, Environmental Protection Agency Web Pages:


Members Only:



VIDEO 1: June 2, 2014 As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the EPA released a proposal to cut harmful carbon pollution from our nation's largest source: power plants.

VIDEO 2: May 31, 2014—President Obama discussed new actions by the Environmental Protection Agency to cut dangerous carbon pollution, a plan that builds on the efforts already taken by many states, cities and companies.

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