Clean Power Plan Summary 

The Clean Power Plan was a policy that aimed to combat global warming. It was first proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama administration. It is the first government imposed plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants in the U.S., which are the largest source of pollution in the country. The EPA issued the final Clean Power Plan under the Clean Air Act of 1963.

The Clean Power Plan gives each state control over how to achieve standards for cleaner energy sources. The Clean Power Plan helps to reduce the U.S.’s overall carbon emissions and is contributing to a healthier climate for the world over. It will also help to curb U.S. dependence on fossil fuels. This in turn will protect our health, help to prevent future generations from experiencing projected, catastrophic climate change effects, and will reposition the U.S. as a global leader for climate policy reform to combat anthropogenic climate change, also known as, global warming.

Clean vs “Dirty” Power

Even though there are more than a few definitions and interpretations of what clean power is, a basic way to describe it is, ways of generating power that do not create the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. In this sense, electricity that is generated by wind, tidal and river power is clean because pollution is not created when these methods are used. Many people refer to electricity as clean power because they do not see or smell anything that would indicate pollution is happening when they flip a light switch on or turn on their oven but the reality is, the majority of electricity in the United States is generated with the use of burning coal.

Carbon emissions are from when carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels, solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and is the result of certain chemical reactions (such as those that occur in the manufacturing of cement). Carbon dioxide emissions made up 82% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. in 2017.

Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming. Global warming is one of the most far-reaching and consequential problems that the world currently faces. Global warming is leading to alarming change in climate of which the impact can already be seen in extreme weather events, droughts, wildfires, floods, extinctions of species, and other disruptions to the Earth’s natural order.

Clean Power Plan Issues

In October 4, of 2017, it was revealed that under the Trump Administration, the EPA was planning to end the Clean power plan and that the formal process to change EPA rules and repeal the plan would begin on October 10. The standard federal regulatory procedures to implement or change a regulation will likely take through the year 2019 to be completed.

Be informed with Climate Law in Our Hands.