Why we need a cleaner, more efficient power sector

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. This proposal will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations. Significant public health and climate benefits for future generations—The proposed Clean Power Plan will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of harmful particle pollution, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Together these reductions will provide important health protections to the most vulnerable, such as children and older Americans. Affordable, reliable energy—The agency’s proposal is flexible—reflecting that different states have a different mix of sources and opportunities to cut carbon pollution, and reflecting the important role of states as full partners with the federal government in cutting pollution. And it provides enough time for utilities to make changes without affecting reliability. Because of this flexibility, in 2030, consumers’ electricity bills will be smaller. Drive investment and innovation that will assure American businesses have a competitive edge—Cutting carbon pollution from power plants will drive investment and innovation that will keep American businesses at the forefront of the global movement to produce and consume energy in a better, more sustainable way. Proven, flexible approach—The proposal builds on what states, cities and businesses around the country are already doing. They 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.

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