Washington DC (May 11, 2023) – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed rules to reduce emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants. The new rules would require new and existing coal-fired power plants to capture nearly all carbon dioxide emissions by 2040. The power sector accounts for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and is responsible for toxic air pollution that disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities. 

The proposed regulation comes nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court constrained the EPA’s authority to regulate power plant emissions by prohibiting the agency from considering the ability of power companies to shift generation to cleaner sources of electricity. The rule would set emissions standards based on what is feasible on a plant-by-plant basis rather than the broader system-wide approach taken by the Clean Power Plan proposed under the Obama administration.  

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes tax credits to encourage companies to capture and sequester carbon pollution from the smokestacks of fossil fuel power plants.  

Following is a statement by Dan Lashof, U.S. Director, World Resources Institute: 

“The EPA's proposed rule sends an unequivocal signal to American power plant operators: the era of unlimited carbon pollution is over. 

“The proposal would result in more than an 80% reduction in carbon pollution from power plants by 2040 compared to 2005 levels, accelerating the country's shift to a clean energy economy. The Inflation Reduction Act's generous tax incentives for carbon capture technology and carbon-free electricity generation sources offers a pathway for electricity producers to keep consumer costs low as they cut emissions from the dirtiest power plants in America. 

“By only regulating based on what is feasible within power plants' fence line, the EPA avoids some of the legal obstacles erected by the Supreme Court when it rejected the Clean Power Plan introduced by the Obama administration. This approach makes it more likely that the rule will survive judicial review. 

"This is a day for the history books, as the United States locks into the path toward a prosperous, clean and equitable future."