Clean Power Plan

FACT SHEET: Clean Power Plan



On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. The science shows that climate change is already posing risks to our health and our economy. The Clean Power Plan will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations.

Cleaning up power plants

  • Power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, making up roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
  • All told—the Plan puts our nation on track to cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent by 2030—that’s about 730 million metric tonnes of carbon pollution.
  • That’s equal to the annual emissions from more than 150 million cars, or almost 2/3s of the nation’s passenger vehicles – or the annual emissions from powering 65 million homes, over half the homes in America.

Big public health and climate benefits

  • The Clean Power Plan has public health and climate benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion per year in 2030, far outweighing the costs of $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion.
  • Reducing exposure to particle pollution and ozone in 2030 will avoid a projected
    • 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths
    • 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children
    • 340 to 3,300 heart attacks
    • 2,700 to 2,800 hospital admissions
    • 470,000 to 490,000 missed school and work days
  • From the soot and smog reductions alone, for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan—American families will see up to $7 in health benefits.
  • The Clean Power Plan will reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 percent in 2030.
    • 54,000 to 56,000 tons of PM2.5
    • 424,000 to 471,000 tons of sulfur dioxide
    • 407,000 to 428,000 tons of nitrogen dioxide

Number of power plants covered by the Clean Power Plan

  • In the U.S., there are 1,000 fossil fuel fired power plants with 3,000 units covered by this rule. 
  • Utility planners are already making plans to address an aging fleet. The average age of coal units is 42 years. The average age of oil units is 36 years. The average age of natural gas combined cycle units is 14 years.

State climate, energy efficiency and renewable energy policy statistics

  • States, cities and businesses have set energy efficiency targets, increased their use of renewable energy, and made agreements to cut carbon pollution. These are the kinds of programs that states will be able to use to cut carbon pollution under this proposal.
    • 47 states with utilities that run demand-side energy efficiency programs
    • 38 states with renewable portfolio standards or goals
    • 10 states with market-based greenhouse gas emissions programs
    • 27 states with energy efficiency standards or goals 

Proposed state plan dates

  • June 30, 2016 – Initial plan or complete plan due
  • June 30, 2017 – Complete individual plan due if state is eligible for a one-year extension
  • June 30, 2018 – Complete multi-state plan due if state is eligible for two-year extension (with progress report due June 30, 2017)

Printable version of the fact sheet:

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