EPA Clean Power Plan

In 2013, President Obama announced a national climate action plan. It includes a limit on carbon pollution from power plants, more renewable energy on public lands and government buildings, more efficient transportation, cutting energy waste in homes, businesses and factories, and much more. It also includes building smarter and more resilient infrastructure to withstand climate impacts we can no longer avoid. And, to address this challenge, President Obama created the Task Force on Climate Resiliency and Preparedness to which Mayor Brainard was appointed.

On June 18, 2014, the EPA issued a proposed draft rule for existing power plants.  The power sector is the largest, concentrated source of carbon pollution, responsible for 1/3 of U.S. carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan sets a national target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.  This plan is part of Section 111d of the Clean Air Act.

On August 3, 2015, President Obama unveiled the EPA rule which sets the national target at 32% by 2030. That's 32% from 2005 levels. 2005 was used as a reference because it's commonly used in the international community. Click here to see the presidents speech (26 min video).

This historic action comes as nations prepare for the Paris climate talks in December 2015, and demonstrates to the world that the U.S. is ready to lead on climate change. You don't have to be a climate scientist to know there's something wrong and that we need to do something about it before it's too late.  Climate change is our generation's greatest challenge.  Stand with fellow Hoosiers to celebrate bold action on climate.

Co-Benefits

There are co-benefits with this carbon rule because it also reduced mercury pollution, sulfur dioxide, and  fine particle pollution which can contribute to severe asthma attacks, lung damage, heart problems, increased hospitalizations and even premature death.  The combined health and climate benefits of the Clean Energy Plan are estimated at $55 to $93 billion in 2030, according to the EPA. (Janet McCabe ppt, pg 4)  This is likely a conservative estimate.  For example, climate and weather disasters  in 2012 cost the American economy more than $100 billion with Superstorm Sandy, severe weather, heat waves, drought, and wildfires.  That's just one year and doesn't include health impacts.  The potential health and climate benefits far outweigh the cost of the plan.

Additional Info

Status/News

  • August 2, 2015 -  President Obama releases a Facebook video leading up to signing of the new EPA rule
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  • July 10, 2015 - Disappointly, Gov. Pence continues to deny climate science and oppose the Clean Power Plan along with a handful of U.S. governors. Read USNews article.
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  • June 9, 2015 -  Gov. Mike Pence advocates for coal.  "Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed State of West Virginia et al v. Environmental Protection Agency, Case No. 14-1112.  Indiana was one of fourteen petitioners in the case, which asked the Court to review the legality of the EPA’s proposed regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.  The Court held that it does not have the authority to review proposed agency rules.  In response, Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement.

    “The Court’s decision is discouraging, but it does not dampen our resolve to use every legal means at our disposal to stop burdensome regulations. Though the Court declined to let the litigation proceed because of procedural matters, the Court’s decision did not speak to the substance of our claim that the EPA lacks the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants in the way proposed.  We will renew our claim and seek to invalidate the regulations once they are finalized later this summer.”

    Source: in.gov