Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants
In 2009, EPA determined that greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans' health and welfare by leading to long lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment.
There are currently no uniform national limits on the amount of carbon pollution future power plants will be able to emit, and they are the largest individual source of carbon pollution in the country. EPA's proposed standard reflects the ongoing trend in the power sector to build cleaner plants that take advantage of American-made technologies.
Carbon pollution and health
This standard ensures that power companies investing in long-lived new fossil fuel fired power plants will use clean technologies that limit harmful carbon pollution.
Carbon pollution stays in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change, which is a threat to public health and the environment for current and future generations.
EPA is taking common-sense steps to limit these emissions, by addressing emissions from fossil-fired power plants, which are the largest new sources of carbon pollution.
Unchecked greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans' health and welfare by leading to long-lasting changes in our climate.
The health risks from climate change are especially serious for children, the elderly, and those with heart and respiratory problems.
Cleaner, dependable energy
The nation’s electricity comes from diverse and largely domestic energy sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear, hydro and, increasingly, renewable energy sources. The proposed standard would not change this fact, and EPA put a focus on ensuring this standard provides a pathway forward for a range of important domestic resources, including coal with technologies that reduce carbon emissions.
The proposed rule would apply only to new fossil-fuel-fired electric utility generating units (EGUs). For purposes of this rule, fossil-fuel-fired EGUs include fossil-fuel-fired boilers, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) units and stationary combined cycle turbine units that generate electricity for sale and are larger than 25 megawatts (MW).
EPA’s proposal reflects the ongoing trend in the power sector—a shift toward cleaner power plants that take advantage of modern technologies that will become the next generation of power plants. EPA’s proposed rule would ensure this progress continues.