Clean Power Plan

Samantha Gruber

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Step 1

Our climate is changing, and we’re feeling the dangerous and costly effects right now.

  • Average temperatures have risen in most states since 1901, with seven of the top 10 warmest years on record occurring since 1998.
  • Climate and weather disasters in 2012 cost the American economy more than $100 billion.
  • Although there are limits at power plants for other pollutants like arsenic and mercury, there are currently no national limits on carbon.
  • Children, the elderly, and the poor are most vulnerable to a range of climate-related health effects, including those related to heat stress, air pollution, extreme weather events, and others.

Step 2

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 Clean Power Plan is a policy aimed at combating anthropogenic climate change (global warming) that was first proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in June 2014, under the administration of US President Barack Obama.

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Step 3

The EPA issued the final CPP rule on August 5, 2015, which includes a phased “glide path” toward full compliance in 2030.

Obama announced the plan in a speech given at the White House on August 3, 2015. In his announcement, Obama stated that the plan includes the first standards on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants ever proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. He also called the plan "the single most important step that America has ever made in the fight against global climate change.

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Step 4

States, cities and businesses across the country are already taking action to address the risks of climate change.
  • States and businesses have already charted the path toward cleaner, more efficient power.
  • States, cities and businesses are already taking action.
  • The Clean Power Plan puts states in the driver’s seat to a cleaner, more efficient power fleet of the future by giving them the flexibility to choose how to meet their goals.
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Step 5

Most environmentalists have applauded the CPP as a climate game changer. The electricity sector accounts for 31 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and according to the EPA, the CPP will result in a 32% reduction in these emissions, from 2005 levels, by 2030.

Reasons to Oppose Obama’s Carbon Rule, from the Chamber of Commerce:

  • It will negatively affect national GDP, employment, and real income per household. A Chamber of Commerce study predicts a peak decline in GDP of $104B in 2025, with an average of $51B per year from 2014 to 2030. It also predicts the loss of up to 442,000 jobs.
  • It will have a very small impact on global CO2 emissions, which are set to rise rapidly. The Chamber’s analysis finds the proposal would address “a mere 1.8 percent of global CO2 emissions.” Regardless of national emissions reduction policies and adverse economic impacts, global CO2 emissions will grow rapidly.
  • It will be extremely costly. Regulating CO2 emissions will generate adverse economic impacts in the U.S. in exchange for reductions overshadowed by rapidly rising emissions elsewhere. The plan would shave $51B off GDP annually and increase electricity costs by $289B.

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